Annual report shows domestic violence calls are going unanswered due to lack of funding, staffing

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – This week, the 15th annual National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) Domestic Violence Counts report was released, revealing troubling trends throughout 2020.

The report gives domestic violence programs and services a snapshot of what a day looks like for domestic violence needs. In a 24-hour period, more than 70 Ohio Domestic Violence programs submit their data that includes how many calls they took and what the people needed on the calls.

The 2020 report shows that, in Ohio, 2,650 adults and children were served in one day. The report shows that 1,246 adult and child victims of domestic violence found refuge in emergency shelters, transitional housing, or other housing provided by local domestic violence programs and 1,404 adult and child victims received nonresidential assistance and services, including counseling, legal advocacy, children’s support groups, and more.

However, in that day, 252 calls went unanswered. Advocates point towards a cut in government funding and a lack of staffing as their reason for not being able to respond to these calls.

YWCA Dayton director, Michelle Sayer, says they’ve also struggled with a lack of temporary housing to meet the demand of people who are in need in the area.

“During the months of COVID and the stay at home orders, the calls that did come through were of higher lethality,” she said. “People were calling with very serious situations.”

The report helps programs, both local and nationwide, determine where they can focus for the next year and how they can adapt to save lives in the next year.

“Moving forward, something that we do is working on collaborating with other community organizations so we can identify where our clients struggle the most and help them move through to a safe permanent home,” said Sayer.

Sayer says YWCA Dayton responded to more than 5,000 calls in 2020 and they expect the number of calls to increase as the country continues to reopen.

To learn how you can support YWCA Dayton, click here.

If you need help, contact the 24/7 Crisis & Domestic Violence Hotline: 937-222-SAFE (7233)

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