BOISE - The shocking news last Thursday that five people in Idaho died in domestic violence situations on that single day still has people asking what is going on?
It's an alarming number, but what first responders see daily is also disturbing.
"We respond probably to some type of domestic situation on a daily basis without a doubt," said Meridian Police Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea.
Those calls vary from verbal to physical abuse.
“A lot of times it is an argument between the couple. A lot of times it's that verbal abuse, it's not the physical abuse, and so we respond to those on a daily basis,” Basterrechea said. “Actual physical abuse at times probably a little less, you know, once a week sometimes twice a week.”
In any case, police don't take the situation lightly.
“We want to try to solve that problem when we get there,” Basterrechea said. “If it's domestic verbal where it's an argument between the two, we try to talk to them to point them in the direction of resources that can get them the help that they need to work through those issues before it becomes so volatile that it becomes violent."
One of those places is Faces of Hope.
“Last year Faces saw about 850 adults coming in for either domestic violence or sexual assault immediate issues,” said Jean Fisher, COO of Faces of Hope. “And we saw over 1,100 children at the cares unit at St. Luke's hospital.”
Faces of Hope provides many different services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Like resources for immediate help that include legal services, a place to stay and transportation.
“We can help and assist with immediate counseling on site to shore up somebody's decision to leave and to help them understand why it's in their best nature and their children's best nature to follow through,” Fisher said.
The even provide long-term help like developing a safety plan.
“If someone were to come for a safety plan,” Fisher said. “We provide them with information about having emergency money set aside, having clothing set aside, having safe words between you and your children so they understand when there's an emergency and when they need to get out of the way of harm.”
The whole idea to empower victims.
“You're worth more than staying in that type of relationship,” Basterrechea said. “You're worth more than staying in a relationship where somebody is constantly demeaning you constantly, or your actions, or your movements, or who your friends are. And as friends when somebody reaches out to us we need to be brave enough and strong enough to step up.”
If you are a victim of domestic violence, Faces of Hope is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All their services are free. You can also call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Locally you can call 208-343-7025. It's a hotline through the Women's and Children's Alliance.