The new executive director of Willow Domestic Violence Center says her goal is to ensure that domestic violence is no longer a taboo subject.
Marisol Ramos-Lopez wants people to feel safe enough to report domestic or dating violence whether they themselves are the victim, or know someone who is.
"And that's my encouragement to parents. Talk to your kids. Do not be afraid to talk to your kids, because they're seeing it at school, on TV, on social media. We have no true idea what our children are exposed to, so our open communication with them is the best preventive method."
Willow opened a new, 49 bed shelter last year, but Ramos-Lopez says there is always the need for more space.
"We have a waiting list and it's very sad that we have that much need in our communities. When we talk about looking at a vision for the future, it really is to provide the opportunity for anyone who needs shelter to have it."
Adjacent to the shelter is a pet facility. It just accepted its first pet last week.
Ramos-Lopez says 65 percent of domestic abuse survivors will not seek shelter because they're worried about what will happen to their pet if it's left at home.
Click on the LISTEN link above to hear an interview with Ramos-Lopez.