Nevada ranks fifth in domestic violence

Courtesy: Gabriel Delgado / CC BY 2.0 / MGN
Courtesy: Gabriel Delgado / CC BY 2.0 / MGN(KNOE)
Published: Apr. 15, 2016 at 6:29 PM PDT
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Nevada is consistently one of the worst states in the country for domestic violence. For the past 17 years it has been ranked in the top five states, 14 times and the crime rate isn't going down.

There's a stigma around domestic violence that it's shameful or embarrassing to talk about. Often times, we don't hear about it until it's too late: men and women dead, in the hands of a loved one.

In a recent study from Every Town for Gun Safety and the Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence, 46 People were shot by their partners over the past five years.

"It's a real shame, these are often mothers who often have children looking up to them to be taken care of," said John Etchemendy, executive director of Safe Embrace.

The organization helps survivors and families find resources to break the cycle for good. Most of the time, the bumps and bruises heal, but it's the emotional abuse that scars.

"We see a lot of our clients depressed, severely depressed," he said. "They have severe anxiety and they're suicidal sometimes."

It's the children who are more likely going to repeat the cycle of abuse in their own relationships.

"To break the cycle, you have to work with the survivor to recognize future abusive relationships, work on themselves, so they can recognize the abuse and recognize their own behaviors and relationships of their own children."

Survivors return to their abuser an average of 6 and a half times before they leave for good. The million-dollar question begs: Why do they go back?

"They're ashamed. They don't want to go to families and friends and talk about their case because they're their partners. There's a fear that they're outing their partners, embarrassing their partner. I don't' think they're really thinking of themselves."

Cultural values that breed strong male figures, or simple financial practicality may play a roll in the violence, but the lifestyle in Nevada can go hand-in-hand.

"Communities where you have legalized prostitution, more strip clubs, you're going to see more objectification of women, you're going to see correlation patterns of poor treatment of women."

Safe Embrace and other organizations like it have waiting lists for up to two years, but that doesn't mean you can't call them for help.

Many have 24-hour hot lines and they prioritize their wait list based on the severity of the situation.

Alternatives to Living in Violent Environments (A.L.I.V.E), 775-463-5843

Yerington NV—Serving: Lyon County

Committee Against Domestic Violence, 775-738-6524

Elko NV—Serving: Elko, Eureka & White Pine Counties

Committee to Aid Abused Women, 775-329-4150

Reno NV—Serving: Washoe County

Consolidated Agencies of Human Services, 775-945-2471

Hawthorne NV—Serving: Mineral County

Domestic Violence Intervention, Inc., 775-423-1313

Fallon NV—Serving: Churchill County

Domestic Violence Intervention, Inc., 775-273-7373

Lovelock NV—Serving: Pershing County

Safe Embrace, 775-324-3766

Reno-Sparks NV—Serving: Washoe County

S.A.F.E House (Stop Abuse in the Family Environment), 702-451-4203

Henderson NV—Serving: Clark County

Tahoe Safe Alliance, 775-298-0010

Incline Village NV—Serving: Washoe County

Safe Nest: Temporary Assistance for Domestic Crisis, 702-877-0133

Las Vegas NV—Serving: Clark County

Winnemucca Domestic Violence Services, 775-625-1313

Winnemucca NV—Serving: Humboldt County