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Published September 30, 2009 by KRNV TV News

Economy causing abused to remain in violent situations

by Victoria Campbell

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and local experts say they're overwhelmed with calls from people seeking help in violent situations.

But they also say fewer people are actually leaving their violent homes, and they blame the economy.

"All those characteristics for the cycle of violence have always been there," said Suzanne Ramos, a victim advocate at the Reno City Attorneys office, "but with the economy, it brings out the physical component."

"We really encourage people to think about taking the next step," said Joni Kaiser, executive director of the Committee to Aid Abused Women. "Very often, unless they're going to counseling or getting mandatory help through law enforcement or jail time, they're not going to change."

In court on Monday was Sarah Sanders, the woman who accuses her ex-boyfriend, Brian McNeely, 28, of beating her on September 19th. Sanders was granted a one-year extension to the temporary protection order that was issued after authorities say she was kicked, struck and strangled by McNeely, who was arrested. He is facing three felony charges of home invasion, burglary and domestic violence by strangulation.

"I just want him to get help, not necessarily go to jail" said Sanders in the hallway outside the family courtroom. "I think he needs help."

But she also encouraged other people in her situation to seek help, too.

"No matter how much the person who's doing it makes you think it's your fault, it's not," she said. "And it's not okay."

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