LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — After a recent string of murder-suicides in Las Vegas, advocates spoke to 8 News Now about the rise in domestic violence cases they’ve seen over the past few years. 

“You think wow if I would have stayed,” Sandy Viera said. “That could have been me.”

Viera recalled the past trauma she faced in relationships Friday, sharing her story with 8 News Now.
“Stalking was a huge thing,” Viera said. “Or just that intimidation.”

She has since started over but said the process was anything but easy. 

“We start to find justifications for those actions,” Viera explained of her experience. “And all of a sudden, it’s bigger things.”

She is one of many who now advocates for those in domestic violence situations, and called a recent string of local murder-suicide cases concerning. 

Six people died in three separate incidents in just the past week. 

SafeNest CEO Liz Ortenburger told 8 News Now she’s seen a 20 percent spike in domestic violence calls these past few years. 

“A lot of that is related to the stress of COVID,” Ortenburger said. “Now we are going to add a layer of economic stress to that.”

In addition, while homicides in Las Vegas Metropolitan Police jurisdiction are down this year, she said

Nevada still ranks 18th in the nation for women murdered by men. 

While it’s important for someone struggling to ask for help, she also encouraged family and friends to speak up if something doesn’t seem right. 

“By having these courageous conversations,” Ortenburger said. “You are potentially stopping police intervention.”

Therefore, anyone experiencing abuse can begin the difficult but important process to find safety and peace. 

“It’s not easy, I’ll say that it’s never easy,” Viera concluded. “Find resources, find help, even if it is anonymous.”

SafeNest works with both survivors and abusers and provides 24-hour help and counseling. 
If you need help, call or text their crisis hotline at 702-646-4981. 

You can also live chat online to remain anonymous HERE