KENNEWICK, Wash. - As if becoming a victim wasn't bad enough, Domestic Violence Services of Benton and Franklin Counties recently had a fire at one of their temporary housing complexes. However, a tremendous outpouring of support has proven that raising awareness really does make a difference.
The fire that ripped through a four-plex in late August left about a dozen people homeless. But DVS said in about eight months the building will be habitable again.
"We were inundated with donations. It was wonderful. Lots of furniture, lots of household items, clothing and cash donations. Things that we were able to help support our families," Gailey said.
This month, DVS aims to get people talking about domestic violence. Gailey said what typically comes to mind is physical abuse but it's often much more than that.
"Financial abuse and control, verbal abuse. The things that someone says to their partner, awful things.. Day in and day out, the manipulation, playing up that they're the victim. Going and harassing them at work," said Gailey.
DVS offers support to thousands of people every year. Workers answered nearly 9,000 phone calls on the 24-hour crisis line last year and provided over 6,000 overnight stays.
This year, as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, one local stylist is hoping to make a difference in his own way. By offering free hair services for the victims.
"I know a lot of people who have been in certain situations and that smile is gone. So, overall, I just want to be able to help maybe mend, rebuild some of the confidence that's maybe been lost. Give that sense of, you know, I'm still here. I'm still beautiful and I'm still going," said Orlando Trevino of Trevi Spa and Salon.
DVS will hold their 10th annual candlelight vigil at John Dam Plaza in Richland on October 25th. The event will feature 34 life size silhouettes that represent every domestic violence victim killed in the Tri-Cities since 1998.