October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- The purple hair speaks for itself. For Erin Gailey raising awareness about Domestic Violence is a mission.

"It's interesting because a lot of people comment on it and it gives me a opportunity to say, well actually the reason I did it it's because it's Domestic Violence Awareness Month," said Erin Gailey, Program Director for Domestic Violence Services of Benton and Franklin Counties.

Domestic Violence is a crisis affecting one in four women nationwide.

"Perpetrators are hiding the behavior, victims are embarrassed, people think it's a private and personal problem, but it's a problem that impacts our entire community," said Gailey.

In Pasco the number of domestic violence cases are a daily problem.

"Pasco probably takes in 3 to 4 calls a day that are domestic related," said Kim Keltch, D.V. Services Coordinator for the City of Pasco.

Police deal with to many of these cases, ranging from a fight to an arrest.

"It's not just the bruises and the broken body parts that happen, it also has to do with the emotional abuse," said Keltch.

The city of Pasco has named October Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Their goal is to educate the community.

In Richland, domestic abuse numbers are different.

"Overall for the year we're up about 8%," said Captain Randy Barnes with the Richland Police Department.

It's not just the victims who suffer, so does the economy.

"Victims who are missing work because they have to go to court to file a protection order," said Gailey.

"Children in the community and the response that is needed in the schools, has a financial impact in our community," said Gailey.

"Imagine if we didn't have to spend money on victim things, because there weren't victims, not because we didn't care about them, because there weren't any," said Barnes.

Domestic Violence Services staff also say our area has the highest rate of domestic violence related homicides in Washington.

The next event for domestic violence awareness is on October 30th. It's a vigil happening at John Dam Plaza in Richland.

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