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Domestic violence escalates in Nevada

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Updated: 8/14 5:51 am

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- An alarming statistic on domestic violence states that 42 percent of women in Nevada have experienced domestic abuse.

This comes from the domestic violence services agency, Safe Nest.

Domestic abuse without intervention sometimes ends tragically, with lives lost, or people extremely scarred.

"When people are violent, it's a choice, they are making a choice to do these behaviors," said Lisa Lynn Chapman with Safe Nest.

She says Nevada consistently ranks at the top in the nation for homicides due to domestic violence. Last year it dropped, but unfortunately she says it's climbing again.

"We do have a real problem here, and the only way that it's going to get better in our community is if our whole community comes together and says these are behaviors that we are not going to accept," Chapman said.

Sometimes victims feel trapped, or may not even realize there's a problem with the perpetrator.

"They'll physically be hostile, but then apologize, and say it will never happen again, and so they they figure okay it will happen then it happens again, and then the apologies come and everything is good for awhile and it happens again. There's a whole cycle of abuse," said Claudia Schwarz, a licensed marriage and family therapist.

Schwarz and Chapman both say this a problem of power and control. Schwarz says often victims don't realize it's going on because violence hasn't surfaced.

"If they're repeatedly made to feel like they are worthless and nothing and somebody is really trying to knock you into the ground and just make you feel like you're useless, that's also a red flag, because no one who respects you or cares about you would treat you that way," Schwarz said.

There is help through centers like Safe Nest, counselors, trusted friends and places of worship. Safe Nest is there to help 24/7, with services, shelter, even an emergency protection order.

Experts say they can't stress enough people need to get involved when they see domestic violence, whether it's a stranger or a loved one; make a call and start a conversation.

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