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Experts say domestic violence plagues Tri-Cities, but resources are available

Experts say domestic violence in the Tri-Cities is an issue that many don't like to talk about, but many face it daily in both law enforcement and in advocacy organizations.

Experts say domestic violence in the Tri-Cities is an issue that many don't like to talk about, but many face it daily in both law enforcement and in advocacy organizations.

Domestic Violence Services of Benton and Franklin Counties executive director Dan Aspiri says, "Just as it is everywhere, domestic violence is a significant issue here in the Tri-Cities.”

It's an issue law enforcement officers deal with often. including this weekend with two domestic violence situations.

In Richland, police say a husband assaulted his wife to the point she had to be treated for minor injuries at Kadlec Regional Medical Center. Officers booked him for assault and unlawful imprisonment.

The other incident took place in Kennewick. Officers say a man aimed a rifle at a woman's head. KPD says the two are in a relationship.

According to DVS, the organization helps about 2,100 people in the Tri-Cities area, with about 250 to 300 people in their shelters.

"It's an issue that we don't want to see. It's an issue that many don't want to admit to,” says Aspiri.

Jenna Kochenauer spoke to Action News about her past experiences in an abusive relationship and says it can be extremely difficult to leave the situation for multiple reasons, including financial and emotional.

"I think one of the things that's really hard for people to understand is that you love this person. It seems impossible. How could you love somebody who treats you like that? But you married this person. You got into a relationship with this person that you liked."

Some of the services DVS provides includes a 24-hour crisis line, advice on how to build safety plans and provide emergency shelters for people in escalating domestic violence situations.

"Whatever happens, it's got to be their choice,” says Aspiri.

Aspiri says another thing they're also starting to work more on is prevention by educating teens on what healthy relationships look like and what the red flags are for abuse.

DVS is located at 3311 W. Clearwater Ave. in Kennewick.

For more information about DVS, click here.

Check out their Facebook page here.

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