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Domestic violence statistics show increase in calls for help in Hendricks County

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HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. -- Police in Avon are investigating a shooting as a domestic violence case.

Police said William A. Schooley, 35, of Indianapolis, was pronounced dead at the scene and a woman was found suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. A witness told police Schooley was seen running towards the victim with a gun.

New numbers released from the Domestic Violence Network show calls for domestic help in Hendricks County nearly doubled from 2010-2015. Police said in the Avon case, they responded to the house previously.

"There can be upwards of 30 phone calls or attempts to reach out," said Kelly McBride, Executive Director of The Domestic Violence Network.

Across central Indiana, there were 3,500 calls to 211 for domestic violence help in 2015. McBride said many victims are feeling more comfortable coming forward to report abuse because of social media and movement like #MeToo.

"This has been such a taboo, behind closed doors topic for so long and finally people are coming out and talking about it. Celebrities are coming out. Politicians are coming out and it’s giving the voice," McBride said.

Despite more women coming forward, many women still don't follow-up with cases. In Marion County, those numbers showed 40 percent of victims fear they'll be killed by their abuser.

"Fear of their abuser is probably number one. Where are they gonna go? If they're not working, how are they going to afford that? Many times the abuser will use their children against them to stay in the relationship," McBride explained.

Ninety-five percent of domestic violence victims are women, according to statistics from The Domestic Violence Network.

"I think as a culture and as a society what we need to look at is not why is she staying, but why is he abusing. He’s the one who’s committing the crime, not her by staying," said McBride.

Advocates encourage victims to take these steps:

  • Call 211 for services near you
  • Call 911 if there's an emergency
  • Make copies of birth certificates and social security cards
  • Prepare a backpack for you and your children with essential items and medications
  • Create a safe word between you and a close friend, so that you can get help without your abuser knowing

If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, click here for a list of emergency numbers and victim’s assistance hotlines in central Indiana.