Domestic violences calls up nearly 30% in Jefferson County

Published: Apr. 15, 2020 at 10:44 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Job loss, worries about paying bills and being cooped up during this pandemic are just a few stressful situations that could lead to domestic violence. In fact, there’s a rise in domestic violence cases if Jefferson County.

Domestic violence calls are up almost 30% according to the Jefferson County Sheriffs Office. As of March 2020, the sheriff’s office has responded to 141 domestic violence calls compared to 111 during March of 2019.

"We are not sure if its directly related to the quarantine but it very well could be. That’s the only new component to this,” Sgt. Joni Money said.

Sgt. Money says if you are stressed then try and settle arguments with words, not fists or guns.

"If you do get to the point where you’ve got something that’s getting out of control, try to resolve it with something other than fighting…go take a walk, get away,” Money said.

Also lowering your tone during arguments may help. It’s something that’s used in law enforcement.

"It’s called mirroring. You lower your voice, try to speak calmly, slowly and not try and out speak the other person and generally what happens is that person starts to come down to your level,” Money said.

The sheriff’s office offers these tips:

  • Take a walk. Should tensions begin to build, citizens can still take a walk around their neighborhood. Hopefully, this will allow both parties to have the opportunity to cool down and keep the argument from escalating. Just remember to practice the social distancing guidelines while in public.
  • 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.

Sgt. Money says there are some situations where none of this will work especially with relationships that tend to be violent. You need to obviously call 911 if the need arises. Places like the YWCA and the Crisis Center also have 24 hour domestic violence hotlines and shelters available if you need a safe place to stay. Their contact information is below:

  • The YWCA 24-hour crisis line (205-322-HURT [4878]).
  • 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

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