Domestic violence is a big problem in the city of Yakima. In fact the Executive Director of the YWCA women's shelter says Yakima and Spokane have the highest rates of domestic violence incidents in the state. On average police respond to nearly 2,000 incidents every year. That places Yakima within the top five cities in the state for the number of domestic violence incidents.


Cheri Kilty says they help thousands of women and children every year. She says however that 85% leave the shelter and rebuild their lives in the community. Kilty says they work closely with the Yakima Police Department through the department's Domestic Violence Coordinated Community Response Team. The team was developed to create a more complete response involving law enforcement, mental health and survivor advocates and other partners. The response team meets daily to talk about new cases, response plans and provide services and safety to domestic violence survivors or victims and their children. Many of the women and children find safety and security at the YWCA shelter.
The shelter is growing.


Kilty says the YWCA plans to renovate the former St. Elizabeth’s School of Nursing at 110 S. Ninth Avenue are underway with fundraising. The renovation costs are estimated between $15 and $19 million. Kilty says so far they've raised more than $3 million.
When finished the new shelter will provide a lot more help and more private rooms plus areas for children and families.

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