Jeff Fuentes Gleghorn
Earlier this September the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) warned Las Vegas residents that domestic murders were becoming more common. The United Nations has referred to domestic violence as the “shadow pandemic” running alongside the COVID-19 pandemic, since domestic violence rates have gone up worldwide. The U.S. domestic violence rate increased by nearly 10 percent in the first year of the pandemic.
SafeNest, a non-profit that works to end domestic violence in Southern Nevada, reports that they are out of space to shelter victims of domestic violence. SafeNest CEO, LIZ Ortenburger said that people only qualify for SafeNest shelters if they are “on the path to, or at risk of” death. Even so, she says SafeNest can not keep up with the need in Clark County. “I will spend $100,000 on hotel rooms this month because my main campus is full, and my alternate housing is full, so we’re spinning out into hotel rooms to meet the demand,” Ortenburger said.
SafeNest also provides support for court appointments, counseling, and crisis response, as well as operating a hotline at 702-646-4981. They also offer state-certified counseling and courses to people using violence to help them improve their behavior. These courses discuss topics including “responsibility, accountability, behaviors, choices, belief systems about family roles, the effects of abuse and alternatives to battering.”