Domestic violence calls on the rise in Phoenix during coronavirus outbreak
PHOENIX — Domestic violence is on the rise in Phoenix as more people stay home during the coronavirus outbreak.
According to the Phoenix Police Department, officers were dispatched on 3,395 domestic violence calls in March 2019. Comparing those number to March of 2020 as COVID-19 spread and restrictions were put into place, the calls jumped up to 3,587.
That’s a 5.66% increase in calls dispatched as a family fight or aggravated assault with a domestic partner.
“We are seeing an increase in these types of calls, but I think it goes back to what people are living through and trying to cope through, many people aren’t working because of the public health crisis,” Sergeant Mercedes Fortune told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.
The Phoenix Police Department prefers looking at monthly data to get a better context to any reoccurring themes in 911 calls its officers are dispatched on.
However, with just seven days into April and one week since Gov. Doug Ducey’s “stay-at-home” order went into effect, domestic violence calls have increased even more than previous recorded data.
“April 1 through 7, we had 820 calls in 2019 and this year we’ve has 942 for that week,” Fortune added. “That’s a 15% increase.”
The department believes once April is over, a clearer picture to what is happening in the city when it comes to domestic violence will be known now that the public is mandated to be home other than for essential services.
“Regardless of the health crisis we are in right now, I think this serves as a reminder for people to be kind to each other and have a little more patience,” Fortune said. “It’s important for people to know that there is help out there if they find themselves in a situation like an unhealthy relationship.”
The city of Phoenix has a safe place for domestic violence victims to get help through their Phoenix Family Advocacy Center by calling 602-534-2120.
The center offers many different kind of resources including safety planning, shelter resources, victim’s rights and domestic violence education.
The national domestic violence hotline is 1-800-799-7233.