PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Following the brutal murders of a Vancouver mother and her 7-year-old daughter in an apparent domestic violence incident, organizations in the Portland metro area said they are seeing a spike in calls for help.
The CEO of the Clark County YWCA, Brittini Lasseigne, told KOIN 6 News they’ve had a recent spike in people reaching out for assistance, which tends to happen after a widely publicized local domestic violence incident.
“They start to evaluate the situation they’re living, find a way to escape that situation they’re experiencing,” Lasseigne said.
- YWCA’s 24-hr SafeChoice Domestic and Sexual Violence hotline: 1.800.695.0167
- National 24-hr Domestic Violence Hotline: 1.800.799.7233
- Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence Friends & Family Guide Call to Safety Crisis Line (Portland survivor support): 1.888.235.5333
The Beaverton Domestic Violence Resource Center also said they’ve had a recent increase in calls to their crisis line.
“There has definitely been an increase in calls to our crisis line and our advocates have also provided more safety plans and referrals for legal, counseling, shelter, client assistance funds including short term hotel stays as well as employment resources for survivors of domestic violence,” said Geeta Paul, the Director of Advocacy & Empowerment Program for the Domestic Violence Resource Center.
What statistics show
Kirkland Warren faces 2 counts of 1st-degree murder in the deaths of Meshay Melendez and her 7-year-old daughter Layla Stewart. Their bodies were found in a Washougal ditch and the medical examiner said they had been shot in the head.
Warren, who investigators said had been in a relationship with Melendez, is being held without bail in Clark County.
Statistics provided by the Vancouver Police Department show domestic violence cases are up 10% year-to-date.
Kim Kapp with VPD explained that these are not necessarily stand-alone crimes, that they could be “one incident with multiple offenses” such as burglary, assault, identity theft with domestic violence as one of the elements.