CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Domestic violence cases are on the rise in Hampton Roads. One domestic survivor is using her voice to empower women and men to leave unhealthy relationships this Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Someone in the United States experiences abuse by an intimate partner approximately every 20 minutes.
Locally, this year alone Chesapeake has seen 1,253 domestic-related cases. Then, in Newport News, Police Chief Steve Drew said there are 600 domestic violence incidents every month. And in Suffolk, the numbers fluctuate.
Chesapeake resident Neisha Himes said she's one of the lucky ones. Knowing what she knows now, she said she realizes there were a lot of red flags the first year in her relationship.
"The second and third year included the verbal and emotional psychological abuse, and then the last year included all of the above, but also added in the physical abuse as well," Himes said. "I've had everything from broken bones, concussions, black eyes, strangulation - you name it."
Turning her pain into strength, Himes started her own foundation called the GROW (Girls Recognizing Our Worth) Foundation, connecting families and individuals affected by domestic violence with the resources needed to live a safe life.
News 3 reached out to Hampton Roads cities to gather information on domestic violence cases over the last three years.
If you need help right away, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 and ask to be directed to resources in your neighborhood, or find a shelter and emergencyhelp near you. For Hampton Roads residents, you can contact the Samaritan House or click here for a list of resources by region.
More coverage on domestic abuse:
Man arrested for domestic abuse over 20 years ago now advocates for others to get help
News 3 investigates how perpetrators use religion and spirituality as a form of abuse
'I had nothing in my name': An investigation into aspects of financial abuse