More Nevada women die at the hands of domestic violence than anywhere else in the country, a local domestic violence reported Sunday.
The Shade Tree, a Las Vegas Valley women and children's shelter, said 17 women in the valley have died from these incidents just in the past year alone. One of the most recent cases is that of Shauna Tiaffay, 48, whose husband, George Tiaffay, a Las Vegas firefighter, is now charged with her murder.
Those closest to Shauna said George Tiaffay was both verbally and physically abusive. They said Tiaffay berated his wife over shopping purchases and degraded her in front of their daughter.
DeAndre Esteen, The Shade Tree Director of Development, said abusive situations similar to Shauna's are all too common throughout the Valley.
"We can't be silent anymore," Esteen said. "We have to let our voices be heard, and because there's so many victims out there, who feel like they don't have a voice, often times, we have to speak for them."
Shade Tree workers say often women leaving violent situations come into their shelter with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
"They've been in that abusive relationship," Esteen said. "They've been sexually assaulted."
Esteen said the shelter is often in desperate need of resources.
In an effort to curb the problem, The Shade Tree of Las Vegas received a donation of nearly 100 new and like new bras and $1,000 from Pancholi Cosmetic Surgery. The necessary items were collected in August by the staff of Pancholi Cosmetic Surgery through a donation drive specifically for The Shade Tree.
October is also Domestic Violence Awareness month, acknowledged with purple ribbons.