New report shows increase in domestic violence victims seeking help

Local organizations say this report highlights some startling trends.
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 5:05 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The National Network to End Domestic Violence released an annual report which shares a snapshot of data from agencies across the country, including Nevada.

“They look at, ‘what does one day look like in the life of domestic violence agencies in our country?’” explained Elizabeth Abdur-Raheem, the Executive Director of the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence.

Abdur-Raheem says this 24 hour survey highlights some startling trends.

“If we look back over the last six years, this is definitely the highest number of people served that we have seen,” Abdur-Raheem said.

Kristen Kennedy, the Executive Director of the Domestic Violence Resource Center in Reno says she believes the increase in victims could be due to inflation.

“Individuals have more economic stress right now with the cost of living, of inflation and the lack of affordable housing,” Kennedy said.

In 2022, the center served 778 more individuals than the previous year.

They also say now that the pandemic is coming to an end, victims are more likely to leave a dangerous situation which could also contribute to rising numbers.

“We are seeing more people who needed shelter, willing to enter shelter,” Abdur-Raheem said.

Kennedy says housing through the Resource Center is almost always full. They’ve turned to motels to provide shelter for their clients, placing over 40 people in February.

“In our emergency motel placements, we had 27 adults and 15 kids,” said Sylvia Gonzalez, the Director of Client Services at the Resource Center.

“Our motel placements we’ve noticed have been going up every single month.”

These organizations are asking the state for help, hoping the legislature can open supportive housing to victims of domestic violence. Housing is one of the biggest needs.

“Reach out talk to your elected officials, your local officials, your statewide officials to really talk about this as something that matters to you and your community,” Abdur-Raheem said.

If you are a victim of domestic violence call 775-329-4150 or text DVHELP to 839863.