Domestic violence cases on the rise in Yakima

YAKIMA, Wash. -- The Yakima City Council believes domestic violence to be increasing, even in the county.

"I was just surviving, I was just surviving," said domestic violence victim Miriam Saavedra.

She had a dangerous relationship turn sour.

"He had pulled a knife on us, kicked in doors, pulled in phone lines and tried to kidnap me," Saavedra told KIMA.

Saavedra and her three children fled the life they had in southern California, trying escape her abuser.

"Hopped on a train for three days just with our bags and came up here just because my parents are here. Since then, I've been living at the Y," said Saavedra.

Miriam Saavedra was a victim who battled domestic violence for five years. She is one of many victims that gets help from YWCA.

Purple ribbons will be hung for domestic violence awareness month. Mayor Micah Cawley says the county is experiencing an increase in these cases.

"We have a lot of cases in the city of Yakima and in the county for our size," Mayor Micah Cawley told Action News.

Cawley told Action News the numbers of cases in the county are higher than most around the state.

The YWCA says they've seen an increase of victims seeking help.

"Be full on a consistent basis is troubling," said Erin Black, the executive director at YWCA.

KIMA dug up the numbers and discovered that one in four persons will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, and more than 15 million children annually."

"It's important that we as a city council that we as a community say we're going to take a stance against this and we're going to do what we can to raise awareness," said Cawley.

This month Cawley is dedicated to doing just that.

Yakima Police say domestic violence calls are among the most common.

Officers are specially trained, learning how to handle a situation that can soon spiral out of control. Many times officers have been injured. Now the department sends out extra officers, if needed, instead of just two.

The YWCA says signs of domestic violence include depression, anxiety, isolation and physical injury. The best way to fight back is through education and awareness.