LAS VEGAS (KLAS)— October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and bringing awareness to a topic that can be hard to discuss or even acknowledge, but for victims, domestic violence is their life.
A local non-profit advocacy group, SafeNest, who says they are seeing close to 40,000 victims this year alone in Clark county. That’s a much higher amount than in years prior.
“Our homicide rate is skyrocketing I’m afraid to say, and a good portion of our homicide cases are domestic-related,” Steve Wolfson, Clark County District Attorney said.
CEO of SafeNest Liz Ortenburger said that for many, domestic violence is seen as violence among couples, but that isn’t always the case. 40% of domestic violence cases don’t even fall under the intimate partner umbrella.
“Not only did the rates of domestic violence go up, but the depth and literal number of punches and the amount of psychological abuse, and the number of curse words,” Ortenburger said. “For example, all of these things, exponentially raised within households, because we have a stressed-out community.”
For the victims, getting help isn’t the easiest, as often abusers will hone in on what they feel they can control. However, officials say coming forward is the best step anyone can take in seeking justice.
“It’s essential that they participate in the court process because these are criminal cases. In order to move forward, we need to have witnesses and evidence,” Wolfson added.
SafeNest will be hosting its 3rd annual Run for Hope 5K, on Saturday, Oct. 16, to celebrate, commemorate and honor victims, survivors, and families impacted by domestic violence. For more information on how to participate visit here.
SafeNest has a 24-hour crisis hotline for any victims who are in need of help. They can be reached by calling or texting 702-646-4981.