INTERVIEW: Safe Harbor, help for domestic violence victims

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – This has been a particularly awful year for violence related to domestic abuse.  From the Yeardly Love case at UVA, to the murder of a young mother right here in Chesterfield, the often secret struggle with domestic violence has become a very public news story.

Tonight on NBC12 News at 11, I'll have a special report on domestic violence in central Virginia, where we will introduce you to a local woman who was able to escape a very difficult situation.

Part of our story features the local domestic violence shelter safe harbor. Here to talk more about Safe Harbor's services is Angela Verdery she is the public information manager for the agency. Thank you so much for being here.

Angela Verdery: Thank you for having me, Ryan.

Ryan Nobles: The first question I have is, do you think people would be surprised to learn just how often domestic violence becomes a problem in families across central Virginia?

Angela Verdery: Definitely, I know. I've been surprised the more and more I've done this work. Recent studies show one in four women and one in 8 men in Virginia experienced domestic violence at some point in their lifetime.

Ryan Nobles: So that's 25% of women get into a situation like that. I think one of the things we saw while putting the story together that only a very number of small cases become new stories that we report on, but this is still happening on a very regular basis.

Angela Verdery: Exactly. When we just say the one in four, those are the persons who experience the violence. That doesn't count the family, friends, coworkers, neighbors and the like impacted.

Ryan Nobles: And when it becomes a news story, it's become something terribly awful has happened. Women and even men that are in this situation, do they often feel there is nowhere for them to turn?

Angela Verdery: A common thing that happens when you're experiencing violence in your relationship is that you think you're alone and there aren't options. One of the privileges of working at Safe Harbor is we get to introduce some of those options to people.

Ryan Nobles: Give this an idea just as quickly as you can some of the resources you offer people in these difficult situations.

Angela Verdery: One of the main things we have is a 24-hour hotline that you can call. That number is 287-7877.

Ryan Nobles: It's hard, because sometimes the people either think they don't need help or don't want help. How do you help people in those situations?

Angela Verdery: Oftentimes that's helping the family, friends, neighbors, coworkers who are supporting that individual to help them make the safe space for that person to come forward whenever they're ready.

Ryan Nobles: Thank you, Angela.

See the video at right for the full interview.

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