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Bannock task force plans fight against domestic violence

A task force in southeast Idaho is working to get more attention on the widespread problems of abuse in the region.

Locals involved in helping the victims said domestic violence often happens in the shadows and isn’t often talked about, but it is a major problem in every community.

“It is still a huge issue, and it’s an ongoing issue that we need multiple facets of society in our culture and community looking at it and working together to solve the problem,” Family Services Alliance Executive Director Sarah Leeds said.

The Bannock County Domestic Violence Task Force is a response to that need, a team put together of representative from police departments, the sheriff’s office, the FBI, prosecutors, health professionals… and others.

The team is tasked with finding ways to prevent abuse, and get convictions when domestic violence does happen.

“Offenders and the people they rub elbows with, I hope, are spreading the word that we don’t tolerate domestic violence in Bannock County,” taskforce chairman Stephen Herzog said.

At Family Services Alliance in Pocatello,the group gives counseling safety and help to people who’ve faced domestic violence.

Since last year, the alliance has seen the number of people needing help go up 20 percent.

“I don’t know if that means there’s a rise in domestic violence or more people are reaching out for help, but I do know we’re serving more people,” Leeds said.

I you or someone you know needs help, you can contact the Family services Alliance crisis line at 251-HELP (4357).

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