Donated cars help survivors of domestic violence - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Donated cars help survivors of domestic violence

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Yakima, WASH.--A Yakima business man saw a need in his community and wanted to help fill it. Steve Hahn donated two cars Friday to support victims of domestic violence.

Miriam Saavedra and Rayna Casiano have three things in common. They are both mothers about to have newborns. They are both survivors of domestic violence, and they are both new car owners.  

"I'm very excited," said Saavedra. "It's going to help me out a lot in regards to my kids and myself. Try to start over."

Casiano said, "I haven't been able to make sure he's {her son} at school on time because of the vehicle we've had. It's just unreliable."

The Executive Director of the YWCA said, "Transportation is one of the major barriers in working toward self-sufficiency and empowerment, and so now these families will have safe vehicles, very nice vehicles."

Hahn said he became aware of the domestic violence problem in Yakima while helping the Yakima Police Reserves Program.

"It seems like every night I go on patrol, when I go out on patrol, there's a domestic violence case," said Hahn.

Black said, "Our staff is very busy and our housing remains full with a waiting list for those families so the need is there."

YWCA's Executive Director said they help around 5,000 women each year. They provide services to help victims obtain independence and security for their families.

"The girls will be able to take their families and do some of the things everybody else does because they have no means of transportation, other than public transportation or asking for favors," said Hahn. "Now it's another step on their way so they can actually move on with their lives."

Casiano said, "That's what we always tell ourselves. We always stay because we don't deserve better. We can't do any better. Maybe we've done wrong in the past and we feel that that's our, some people use the word karma. No it's not true. We deserve better."

The YWCA also offers victims of domestic violence 24-hour emergency shelter, transitional housing, legal advocacy and support groups.