Summit County domestic violence victims climb by 33% in 2018

Summit County domestic violence victims climb by 33% in 2018

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and for Summit County, a reckoning is at hand. The county is seeing a continuing rise in domestic violence intake, with a dramatic 33% increase in victims who sought help from the county’s local victim advocates program between 2017 and 2018.

The national statistics also show a distressing reality. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that, on average, nearly 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner every minute in the United States. That comes out to 10 million Americans who experience domestic violence every year, with many, if not most, incidents never reported.

In the U.S., 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, contact sexual violence or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury, fearfulness, PTSD and requiring the use of domestic violence services. On a typical day domestic violence hotlines field about 21,000 calls, an average of 15 calls every minute.

The number of domestic violence victims in Summit County, with a population of about 30,000, has gone up sharply over the past few years. Leslie Mumford, executive director of Summit Advocates for Victims of Assault, said her organization had helped 241 victims of intimate partner violence in 2016, 258 victims in 2017, and 342 victims in 2018. The last year represents a full one-third rise in victim intake.

Mumford said that the current year trends are showing a continued rise. As of the end of the third quarter of 2019, the Advocates received 295 new clients, 265 calls to their crisis line, with 36 people living in the advocates’ shelter for a total of 827 nights. 78 clients received emergency financial assistance, while 268 received legal advocacy, representation or immigration assistance.

Read the full story from our partner at summitdaily.com.

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