BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham police announced new efforts to help domestic violence victims and reduce domestic violence crimes. The resources come as advocacy groups track higher case reports.
“It doesn’t stop for a pandemic. It doesn’t stop for a holiday. It’s something that happens year round,” said Lauren Thompson, Director of Domestic Violence Services at YWCA.
The calls to the YWCA’s domestic hotline for help are proof.
“At the YWCA we have seen a demand for services and a request for services since the pandemic started,” said Thompson, “On average, three women are murdered every day, according to the CDC from domestic violence. When we see these trends nationally, they tend to be reflected at the local level throughout the country.”
At Wednesday’s news conference, Birmingham’s Police Chief Patrick Smith pleaded with the city after his department saw a 10 percent rise in in murder cases, with domestic violence victims included in the count.
“We need your help solving any kind of crime before it becomes a homicide. That includes domestic violence incidents,” said Smith.
Chief Smith says the department is partnering social workers with officers to help work and reduce cases.
Advocates also stress they have help available right now to move victims and their children to safety.
“We have a 24/7 crisis line available for the individual who is experiencing domestic violence or knows someone who is experiencing domestic violence,” said Thompson, “We have crisis line specialists who are trained to safety plan with the individual.”
The YWCA also has legal services available to help domestic violence victims as they transition to safe locations. You can call the 24-hour crisis line at (205) 322-4878 or (800) 650-6522.