DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Every 18 seconds in America, there is a domestic violence incident.
Now the Dayton Police Department is working to educate the public and bring those numbers down.
The department’s domestic violence deterrence project aims to end domestic violence through education, tracking trends, and providing resources for survivors and their batterers.
Sergeant Roberta Bailey, head of the domestic violence and intimate partner violence unit said, “We’re trying to talk to them before the violence starts. We have our officers providing resource information on just disturbance calls before the violence is even there to try and help decrease the occurrence of any violence before it happens.”
The unit trains officers to respond to domestic violence calls and provides resources for victims and suspects. Officials with YWCA Dayton said although the number of cases is going down. The cases that are being reported are more severe.
“One of the things we started seeing immediately was a slight dip in calls to our hotline but at the same time, the calls that were coming in were a higher lethality. We were seeing callers with more of that immediate urgent threat to them versus calling for safety planning and resources,” said Audrey Starr, director of marketing and communications for YWCA Dayton.
On an average day, YWCA serves about 100 women and children who faced new threats during the pandemic.
“For a lot of people home is not a safe place so when the biggest thing you can do to protect yourself from COVID is to shelter in place and stay at home. If being home means you’re in an abusive relationship that is an added threat to you,” Starr said.
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic violence, the YWCA 24/7 crisis and domestic violence hotline is available at 937-222-SAFE.