“It’s just, it’s like an epidemic, you know, that nobody really wants to talk about or see or admit to,” said Diana Izaguirre, with the Domestic Violence Services of Benton and Franklin counties.
KENNEWICK, Wash. — Resources are available around the community to those who need help when someone is experiencing domestic violence.
“It’s just, it’s like an epidemic, you know, that nobody really wants to talk about or see or admit to,” said Diana Izaguirre, with the Domestic Violence Services of Benton and Franklin counties (DVSBF).
They are located at 3311 W Clearwater Ave C-140 in Kennewick.
The DVSBF provides a free, confidential 24-hour crisis line for those experiencing domestic violence or any kind of intimate partner violence. Izaguirre said it’s for victims, survivors, family, friends or co-workers who want to know what to do to help someone.
Crisis Line: (509) 582-9841
They also hold youth programs aimed toward prevention. The DVSBF goes to schools and talks to kids about safe relationships in their homes and social lives.
“It just really helps break the stigma and get the kids talking about it. The students really appreciate it,” said Izaguirre. “I think this is the way to help break that cycle of domestic violence.”
They provide direct client services, food vouchers, gas cards, bus passes, help with utilities and rent, and have a crisis shelter for those ready to leave their situation.
“Every situation is unique. Every journey is different and is very client based. So you know a person who calls isn’t going to be made to follow any steps,” Izaguirre said. “It’s, ‘What do you need right now? How can we support you?’”
With new resources coming out in Washington, like the suicide and crisis lifeline, 988, and Text-to-911, Izaguirre said the DVSBF is excited because it’s easier access for people to get help.
“It’s really wonderful that all of these resources are coming together, and different ways to connect with our clients,” said Izaguirre.
READ: Text to 911 available in Benton and Franklin Counties
These services are especially important because they don’t require verbal communication.
“You can’t always talk out loud,” said Izaguirre. She said it may be dangerous in domestic violence situations.
The DVSBF is also setting up a new phone system that will provide text and chat for their domestic violence services crisis line. Izaguirre said this will be a huge help and just another level of service for domestic violence survivors.
The DVSBF will hold a vigil at the end of October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, to honor those who did not survive.
“These past few weeks, we’ve had at least three more persons die from domestic violence in our community. We will be up to 48 silhouettes,” said Izaguirre. “We do an exhibit where we have a red life-size wooden silhouette that represents each person that died.”
The exhibit is October 27 at the CBC Gjerde Center.
“I think making people more aware of how we help. We’re not going to make you leave, we’re not going to make you do this, we’re just going to ask you what you need,” said Izaguirre. “Because survivors are so resilient. They know how to survive in this situation that they’ve been in.”
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