Tips to help someone going through domestic violence

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA,TV) Domestic violence happens every day, sometimes right here in our backyard.

Working Against Violence is helping many people in the area deal with domestic violence.

Last year, Working against Violence in Rapid City served 3,308 people, and Development Director Kristina Simmons says that number increases each year.

"It does happen in our area, and we live in a very tight community, but it still does happen," says Simmons.

The organization provides a wide array of services, such as providing emergency shelter and offering counseling services at no cost, to help those in need.

"Domestic violence is not just physical; it can be financial, verbal, it can be emotional abuse as well. So it does come in all different forms," says Simmons.

Simmons says more times than not; the abuser is looking for power and control over the victim.

"You don't know what's happening until you're in the situation. There is usually a honey mood period of everything that is going great. She loves me and then it slowly they just start picking away pieces of you," says Simmons.

Most of the time, the victim will not open up to others because they might feel ashamed or embarrassed, but there are signs friends and family can look for.

"Some big changes in behavior. It could even be depression, or they are not talking to you as much anymore. Just continue that support to be there for them," says Simmons.

If you're helping a victim, it's crucial not to assign them any blame, and let them you're there for them.

If you or someone you know needs help, Working Against Violence is open 24/7 and will be there to assist you.