Thursday, March 15, 2012

Article: Survivors of domestic abuse speak out about getting help

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Last week, a Grandview woman was found dead in her apartment by police, during a domestic disturbance call. This is just one of a growing number of similar cases.

Statistics show one in four people are being abused, according to YWCA housing and shelter manager Joann Garcia. Just last year, 61 people died in Washington state, as a result of domestic violence.

A woman who asked not to be identified, says she was scared to leave her abusive relationship of 22 years. The woman says her daughter was the main reason she decided to get out of the relationship.

"You ask why women stay? You know, for the kids, they're scared, economic, it could be social," Garcia explained.

Garcia says some victims of abuse will go back seven to nine times, before they leave.

"It's nothing to be ashamed of," expressed 18-year-old Claudia Gutierrez, who left a two year abusive relationship when she found out she was pregnant. "I didn't want my baby thinking it was okay, it was normal. A normal relationship to be getting verbally abused, you know, getting hit."

The YWCA is one of many resources in our area that provide free emergency shelter, transitional housing with fully equipped rooms, and financial help.

A lot of times, it's just a matter of identifying and reporting abuse.

"There might be a neighbor that has seen an incident or many incidents," Garcia said. "And maybe that neighbor could tell that lady, a friend, a family member."

"We want that fairy tale ending, and we think he's going to change, he's going to change. He doesn't, you know," Gutierrez said.

YWCA leaders say if you are in immediate danger to call 9-1-1. You can also call their 24-hour Domestic Abuse Hotline at (509) 248-7796.

For more information about YWCA in Yakima, click here.

No comments: