Wichita police expand pilot program to help domestic violence victims

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Just one month ago, Brandy Hernandez was lying in a hospital bed, battered and bruised. 

"They were really bad. I almost didn't make it," she says.

She says her boyfriend beat, stabbed and strangled her. Finally, enough was enough. Today, she's standing stronger than ever, but the road to get here was long and paved with an unexpected ally.

"I went down and visited with her. I've been on the department since 1986 and it was tough to sit there and see how brutally she was beaten," says Sgt. Steven Yarberry.

Even after police were first called out to Hernandez's house, Sergeant Yarberry kept in touch with her. Something he might not have done before a new program...a program his substation was the first to try.

"We are alerted and know to go locate the victim within 24 to 48 hours after the incident and serve them this packet," he says.

"I didn't know half of the stuff that was in that folder existed, but it does," says Hernandez.

It's filled with brochures. information about how to file a protection from abuse order, where you can find a shelter, and even what could happen to your body after you've been strangled. Yarberry says it's more than just the folder. It's also about the connection and trust that's built through something as simple as reaching out.

"It would have been easy to just give up, but we can't give up," he says.

"They came to the hospital three or four times just to check on me, just to make sure I was doing ok. They never once gave up on me," says Hernandez.