Domestic violence-related deaths on the rise - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Domestic violence-related deaths on the rise

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

It's a disturbing trend where advocates against domestic violence are concerned for safety of victims.

"It's a very troubling number," said Lisa Lynn Chapman, community relations director with Safe Nest.

From January to November, Las Vegas Metro Police Department reported that there have been 29 domestic violence-related deaths. At this time in 2012, there were 13.

"A lot of times, it's a desperation," Chapman said. "There's no other solution but this."

Chapman attributes this year's high numbers to the amount of domestic violence-related homicides where the abuser not only targets a spouse but the entire family.

In January, a death shocked the police and community when a metro officer took the life of his wife and young son before taking his own life.

"Instead of looking at it as a 'Here is an issue, and here is something that we can work together,' it's 'There is no other solution.' And the only solution is a very violent solution," Chapman said.

In 2009, the Violence Policy Center ranked Nevada no. 1 in domestic violent-related deaths.

Chapman says since that high in 2009, the number of domestic violence homicides went down. The recent spike is concerning for Chapman, who constantly works with domestic violence victims.

"We can help you stay safer in a relationship. We can help teach you how to be safer," she said. 

Chapman says it's critical for someone in an abusive relationship who is considering leaving to have as much support as possible because often this is when the abuse becomes most violent.

"If you are going to leave, [know] how to leave as safely as possible and that's very important because in a violent relationship, when someone leaves, that is one of the most volatile times," she said. 

Safe Nest says if someone is an abusive relationship, it's critical to have a safety plan in place. 

Have a list of phone numbers readily available to call a trusted person, have friends in mind that are easy to turn to, and have an escape route or an emergency suitcase that is easy to find but difficult for the abuser to find.

The Safe Nest hotline is available 24/7 at (702) 646-4981. To visit their website for additional resources: http://www.safenest.org/

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