by Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN News
LAS VEGAS, NV — Nevada holds the record as the top state in domestic violence abuse fatalities. BA talked to willing Pinay victims of domestic abuse, as well as experts, how to prevent becoming a victim.
A black eye, a swollen lip, and unexplained bruising are outward signs of blatant physical abuse.
“I said don’t talk to me anymore, I don’t want to have a relationship with you… but he grabbed me, and it just got more violent because I was refusing,” said one Pinay victim.
This Las Vegas Pinay, who asked to conceal her identity, claims that she was recently abused and battered by the man she was in a relationship with for over two years.
“First two months, you could see that he is very jealous even in the beginning. I wanted to step back… but he is like no, he is always threatening me and blackmailing me all the time.”
For now, she vows not to go back to her ex-boyfriend — and plans to file for a temporary restraining order and press charges against him.
Dr. Rhigel Alforque Tan, of iCarePsychiatry health clinic in Las Vegas is an advocate for domestic violence victims.
Tan says that many fear the shame and stigma of abuse, especially if the abuser holds a prominent job or holds a role in the community.
He adds that domestic violence laws apply not only to couples — but also to relatives, roommates, domestic partners, and even children.
“A person who is depressed is irritable, angry, and have some behavioral problem, which could lead to some problems with relationship… and most of the time it may lead to domestic violence and spousal abuse.”
Studies show that economic stress is one of the many factors that can lead to domestic violence.
However, having money offers no immunity from violence because wealthy people are just as prone to domestic violence as poor or middle class people, Tan says.
In 2014, the Filipino community was stunned when a Pinoy brutally stabbed his wife to death.
Questions continue to loom on what triggered 40-year-old Richard Dahan to murder his own wife.
Magdayo Dahan was sentenced to life, with the eligibility of parole after 20 years.
In 2016, Pinoy Arthur Lopez was arrested for allegedly killing his own wife. He is scheduled for a jury trial in June.
While the Clark County District Attorney’s office typically receives 10 to 20 new cases each day, the D.A. says that these cases are difficult to prosecute — especially when victims fear retaliation.
Some victims are unwilling to come out.
Anyone who believes they are a victim of domestic violence, or knows someone experience any kind of domestic abuse, can call the hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE, or go online to domesticshelters.org.