Domestic violence cases up across Florida

April 9th, 2010 by

FORT MYERS: As Florida’s crime rate dropped to its lowest level in 39 years, a disturbing trend started to emerge. While most violent crimes were well down, the number of domestic violence incidents rose compared to one year earlier.

Linda Oberhaus, Director of the Shelter for Abused Woman and Children in Naples, says similar havens are needed now more than ever because statewide, domestic violence is on the rise with more attacks, more violence and more murders.

“It’s shocking and it’s sad,” she said. “We’re seeing more severe cases in domestic violence – especially in the State of Florida.”

“It may have something to do with what’s happening in the economy and the increased stressors,” Oberhaus added.

She says another problem is that attackers aren’t held accountable. Law enforcement officials we spoke to say the crime often goes unreported.

New state numbers show:

Domestic violence homicide is up 15.6-percent
Domestic violence manslaughter is up 71.4-percent
And domestic violence stalking is up 31-percent
Also, we learned that 40 percent of all violent crimes were domestic violence related.

Meantime, Oberhaus says more public awareness will bring more battered women in to shelters and hopefully, bring abuse numbers down.

The Shelter for Abused Woman and Children can take on the whole family in situations of abuse. Thursday, there were 14 children there.

They’re taught things like dialing 9-1-1, a safety plan, and they’re offered counseling as well.

Locally, there’s good news.

Domestic violence numbers in Lee County are down by 18-percent. And Collier County is up just slightly at one-percent.

For Oberhaus though, even one case is too many.

One Response

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