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. 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.

The shelter gets crowded during the holiday months

But she says they always see an increase during the holidays when families are under a lot of stress. Kilty says they work closely with the Yakima Police Department through the department's Domestic Violence Coordinated Community Response Team. The team was developed over the last year 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.

Your chance to help families have a bright holiday season

Kilty is thankful that every year many in the community help the shelter during the holidays with gifts and operating dollars. She's hoping the community helps this year as well. She says they're looking for Christmas gifts for children, teens and mothers. They're also looking for operating dollars as well.
You can drop off your donations at the YWCA at 818 West Yakima Avenue or you can call the shelter at 509-248-7796.
You can also find information on the web at

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