‘We’re not seeing the numbers come down quite yet’: Local advocates say domestic violence cases still rising

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INDIANAPOLIS — Within the last year, at least 74 people died from domestic violence in Indiana.

At least 34 were in central Indiana, according to the Domestic Violence Network.

“In the past, that number has been dramatically lower, and it’s all due to the stressors of the pandemic,” said Kelly McBride, executive director.

“From the state, we’ve been seeing a 110 percent increase in domestic violence related homicides. We see that trend in Marion County as well,” she added.

As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, DVN plans to honor survivors and lives lost through its annual commemoration ceremony. Starting at 5:30 Tuesday night, organizers will read the 34 names lost to domestic violence at Meridian Street United Methodist Church.

Since the pandemic, McBride says they’ve seen a huge increase in domestic violence, and the numbers have yet to slow down.

“We’re not seeing the numbers come down quite yet, and we don’t know if it’s honestly a increase in reporting or if it’s an increase in domestic violence,” she said. “Seeing it reported at higher rates, it’s disarming. We know it’s a pervasive problem, but now we see it rising to levels where individuals are reaching out to the police for help.”

Even with more people coming forward to report it, there are still others who may find difficulty doing the same. McBride says DVN continues to offer easy access to support to help eliminate barriers that may prevent someone from seeking help.

“It is hard for people to leave, and shelters are full and they’re socially distancing still,” McBride said. “So we set up a hotel fund last summer, where individuals can stay in a hotel for 30 to 60 days while they get back on their feet as shelters are full. So we’re seeing a huge need for that still a year later, a year and a half later.”

If you’re struggling with domestic violence, or know someone who is, help is available. McBride says calling 211 can connect you to your nearest advocate to start the process of safety planning and guide you to direct resources.

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