LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A national report released in March showed that Nevada is in need of emergency housing resources for domestic violence survivors, something advocates are working to address.
“It’s not a simple thing,” Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill said of domestic violence.
Sheriff McMahill was one of many who spoke on the issue during a community town hall last week.
“We continue to have a number of those types of innovative relationships,” Sheriff McMahill said of the response to domestic violence situations.
It was the top cause of homicides in the Las Vegas Metropolitan police’s jurisdiction in 2022, and it continues to affect many people.
“We don’t have victims that are normal victims,” Clark County Assistant Sheriff Yasenia Yatomi said. “There’s children involved.”
The National Network to End Domestic Violence released its annual report on Nevada in March, and many statistics stand out, namely a lack of emergency housing services.
“What we know is as a state,” SafeNest CEO Liz Ortenburger said. “We have work to do.”
Ortenburger said this issue especially hits home for those living under the poverty line.
“A lot of the times the reason the survivor is going back,” Ortenburger said, “Is the choice being to leave my abuser and experience homelessness, or stay with my abuser.”
She told 8 News Now the solution doesn’t just start with temporary resources, but socioeconomic stability.
“When a survivor of domestic violence has financial independence,” Ortenburger said. “Even if they choose to go back to that abuser, that relationship changes dramatically.”
Their organization works with others like Metro officers to keep as many as they can safe.
“The opportunity to kind of disrupt the cycle of violence,” McMahill concluded.
291 people in Nevada were able to find emergency shelter after domestic violence situations last year.
If you need help, SafeNest has a 24-hour emergency hotline at 702-646-4981. For more information, click here.