Domestic violence calls increase during the coronavirus crisis

Domestic violence calls increase during the coronavirus crisis
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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Jefferson County deputies and Birmingham police officers have noticed since the quarantine there has been an increase in domestic violence calls.

Jefferson County deputies also say since the stay at home order in March of 2020, the statistics show there has been a decrease in both violent crime and property crime in comparison to March of 2019.

That changes when you look at domestic violence cases. Deputies responded to a total of 111 domestic violence calls in March of 2019. For March of 2020, they have responded to 141. That’s a 27% increase.

Here’s a look at Birmingham by the numbers:

In the month of February, there were a total of 647 domestic-related calls. In March there were 785 calls for service. As of April 14 there have been 298 domestic-related calls.

These calls include the following:

  • Domestic Interference with a DV Emergency Call
  • Domestic Assault
  • Domestic Burglary
  • Domestic Criminal Mischief
  • Domestic Criminal Trespassing
  • Domestic Harassment/ Harassing Communication
  • Domestic Menacing
  • Domestic Physical Harassment
  • Domestic Reckless Endangerment
  • Domestic Strangulation or Suffocation
  • Violation of Domestic Violence Order

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says these are things you can do when you feel tension or tempers rise in a situation:

  • Take a walk. Hopefully, this will allow both parties to have the opportunity to cool down and keep the argument from escalating.
  • Try to talk things out rather than allowing a disagreement to become physical. Avoiding raising your voice or using overly emphatic hand gestures can go a long way in keeping a disagreement under control. Even if the other party is yelling, lowering your tone and volume can often cause the other person to lower theirs as well.
  • Settle arguments with words, not fists. Never raise your hand against another person in an emotional rage.
  • Clearly and calmly state what you feel the disagreement is about to the other party. Often times, an argument can develop over nothing more than one party not understanding what point the other person is trying to make.
  • During this difficult time, everyone is on edge and anxieties are high. Many people are concerned over finances, health and the stress of the disruption of normal activity. Try planning activities that will encourage fond memories, like going through old photos of happy times or cooking a favorite meal together.

Should you need assistance with a violent party, reach out. There are still services available to those in a violent situation.

YWCA – The YWCA offers a 24 hour crisis line (205-322-HURT [4878]). Their 24-hour emergency domestic violence shelters are also open and operational.

Crisis Center Birmingham – The Crisis Center continues to provide 24 hour services:

Crisis and Suicide Line – 205-323-7777

Rape Response Hotline – 205-323-7273

Recovery Crisis Line – 205-458-3377

Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office Victim’s Assistance Unit – 205-325-5260 On-Call Victim Assistance Officers are available

HICA – Hispanic Interest Coalition Alabama 205-942-5505 Services and Support for Alabama’s Hispanic community

Remember, if you are in a domestic altercation or have been the victim of domestic violence, you need to report it. You may reach the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office or the Birmingham Police by dialing 911.

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