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Domestic violence increasing in Yakima County

Domestic violence increasing in Yakima County

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. - Yakima's Prosecuting Office says there are more domestic violence cases here in Yakima County.

According to their data, they received 11 percent more domestic violence cases in district court in 2017 compared to 2016.

For superior court cases, there was a 16 percent increase but prosecuting attorney Joe Brusic said it's not just Yakima County that is seeing an increase. He said all 39 counties throughout Washington state are seeing a rise.

Brusic said they need help from the community to stop this crime and so they can get involved as quickly as possible to put away offenders and make sure victims are safe.

"I believe that domestic violence is one of the main driving forces of crime in Yakima County and our community," Brusic said. "We take it very seriously and we need as much help as possible from all victims and witnesses of any kind of domestic violence."

YWCA Director of Outreach Quinn Dalan said victims are not always willing to come forward and it sometimes takes a person about seven times to leave before they leave for good.

"We think domestic violence is a problem nationwide," Dalan said." "We know that one in three woman statistically is subject of abuse whether that's violent, physical abuse or psychological abuse."

She said the Yakima Police Department responds to about 10 domestic violence related calls a day, that's more than 3,000 a year.

From 2016 to 2017, Yakima's YWCA saw an increase of over 1500 calls to their domestic violence hotline.

From 2013 to now, they've seen an increase of 2,000 more domestic violence incidents.

Dalan said they are working to bring those numbers down and said it begins with teen prevention.

"Women ages 16-24 have the highest rates of domestic violence and that abuse can start as young as 12," she said. "We know that women who are involved in abusive relationships at young age are more likely to stay in abusive relationships as they age."

She said they are going to schools to educate young women and men on what a healthy or unhealthy relationships looks like.

The YWCA has many resources for women trying to escape these domestic violence situations including emergency shelters, transitional housing, support groups, advocates and awareness classes.

If you or anyone you know is facing domestic violence, there is a 24-hour crisis line you can call at 877-718-1868.

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