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Domestic violence continues to be a growing problem in Las Vegas valley

Posted: 6:54 PM, Aug 17, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-20 13:55:45-04

Police have identified the suspect in a murder-suicide near Rainbow and Robindale .

Police say 25-year-old Diosdan Benitez-Cruz shot and killed his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself.

The incident Thursday is adding to the number of domestic violence cases in the valley.

Nevada has consistently been in the top 5 list for domestic violence fatalities for years.

Liz Ortenburger is the CEO of domestic violence support agency Safe Nest. She says, "It's at epidemic portions in our city."

How bad is it? The national average for women affected by domestic violence is 1 out of 4. In Clark County, that goes up to 1 out of 3 women.

A possible reason? Ortenburger says we're isolated.

"You don't know your neighbor. You don't know your communities... It lends itself to people who may have tendencies for domestic violence."

Last month, four people were killed by the hands of someone they knew in one week.

And just Thursday, a woman was shot and killed by her boyfriend in an apparent murder-suicide.

Police say the victim told a family member she wanted to leave her boyfriend. Advocates say this is often a trigger for deadly behavior.

"As the batterer, if I have now lost power and control that is when my rage and the cycle of rage generally ratchets up and that can lead to homicide."

Ortenburger says if you suspect someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, hear them out and help them get out of the situation safely.

"Reaffirming that what they're going through is not their fault. And reaffirming that there are resources and help and support for them."