WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 06, 2014, 08:59 PM

Domestic violence is everybody’s business

Fargo, N.D. (WDAY TV) -In cases of domestic violence, a quick phone call to police can be enough to save a victim's life.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Fargo, N.D. (WDAY TV) -In cases of domestic violence, a quick phone call to police can be enough to save a victim's life.

Those call numbers are on the rise in Fargo with one coming in earlier this week sparking a standoff at an apartment building.

WDAY dives into domestic violence in our community, with one victim's story, coming from the same apartment building where a domestic disturbance and standoff happened, this week.

Sara Boyer, helped a domestic violence victim: “I'll step in any way I need to.”

Boyer: “What's going to happen that one time I don't call. It's always that what if.”

Is sometimes all it takes.

Domestic Abuse Victim: “That was the scariest moment of my life.”

For domestic violence victims, searching for that little light of hope during such a dark hour.

Victim: “That night was October 30, 2005.”

Can nearly seem impossible with such a strong hand forcing you into the shadows.

Victim: “He was sitting on my chest and covering my mouth and my nose and telling me to breath, and I couldn't.”

Unable to scream, unable to move, but trapped, praying for a lifeline.

Lt. Joel Vettel, Fargo Police: “It's often times a third party who hears something, sees something.”

But the stigma surrounding domestic violence can make picking up the phone more difficult.

Vettel: “When we look at these things, often times there's a reluctance to call.”

Victim: “I was running through the hallways, knocking on people's doors. Nobody would answer.”

In this very same apartment building, nine years apart.

Victim: “I was scared for my life. I was yelling and screaming at the top of my lungs for someone to open the door, not even call police, just let me in, help me.”

All it took was one call to save the lives of two different victims.

Victim: “For people in that situation, it is a life and death situation at some point.”

Domestic Violence calls and reports are increasing.

In Fargo, now topping more than 170 each month.

Vettel: “Domestic violence is everybody’s business.”

That's nearly six calls every single day as awareness slowly breaks down those once deemed "private" walls.

Victim: “It's kind of our responsibility as neighbors, as a community, to help if we can.”

Help that can breathe new life into a victim.

Victim: “They really should feel the urge to call and help cause it could save somebody's life.”

And light up their future, from the darkness.

Police ask anyone in the community to call 9-1-1 immediately, if they hear or see anything they believe to be domestic violence.