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YWCA NE Kansas Center continue helping domestic violence survivors

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 6:59 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Organizations, like the YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment are helping domestic violence survivors and their support systems get the help they need. Following the murder-suicide of the young couple in the Montara neighborhood last week, we reached out to domestic violence programs that help people in potentially abusive situations.

The YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment data shows they served more than 2,700 people in 2020. Victim types ranging from domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, and more.

“Are there any signs that someone is dominating within the relationship and again those include signs of physical violence,” said CSE Program Director Becca Spielman. “They could include someone speaking over them or not being able to share information about going through their partner. So there are a lot of signs and symptoms that one might see.”

Spielman said people can look for signs their loved one could be experiencing domestic violence. Look for a person being isolated from their support systems. Don’t bring up your concerns in front of their potential abuser -- make sure it’s in a safe space.

Power and control of a person can include financial abuse, cultural abuse, spiritual abuse, intimidation, emotional abuse, and more. Spielman said many who are abused can have denial of their situation.

“Communicating the concern we have for them, validating their experiences, letting them know that what’s happening and what we’re observing is not their fault and it’s not safe and we want to prioritize their safety above all else,” she said.

According to CDC data, nationally 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men experience severe physical violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.

CSE data shows 66% of their clients are female, 7% are male and 27% are unknown or not reported. 48% are white, 30% unknown or not reported, and 13% are Black.

“As I mentioned, isolation is a big tactic abuser will use so maintaining that relationship is critical,” she said.

The YWCA offers training for safety planning in case of an emergency.

“Specific ways you can help someone maintain their safety. Very similar to what you might think of an evacuation plan in the event of a disaster or any other types of things you might do to protect your own safety. How can we help individuals maintain their safety and their children’s safety,” she said.

Their 24-hour hotline is 1-888-822-2983.

All services at the YWCA and training are free of charge and available to anyone in the community.

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