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Toledo police see increase in domestic violence calls during coronavirus spread

Unemployment, food insecurity and fear of COVID-19 can trigger abusers who then take out their stress on family members, police and advocates say.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Some police departments across the country have seen an increase in domestic violence calls as coronavirus forces victims and their abusers to isolate together. 

In Toledo, we compared the numbers from 2019 and 2020 for the same time period: March 16 through April 1.

Credit: WTOL 11

Domestic argument calls are about the same, but there were 74 more calls for domestic violence in 2020. 

Lt. Kellie Lenhardt with the Toledo Police Department said that it's hard to pinpoint the reason for the slight increase, but there is a greater risk or opportunity for additional domestic violence and dispute calls with Governor Mike DeWine's stay-at-home order. 

"People are staying at home and in-doors a lot. Tensions can be high, especially with the stress of people not having an income or parents needing to home-school their children and when they don't have a lot of experience doing that, it can create a lot of stress," Lenhardt said. 

Dr. Christie Jenkins, CEO of the Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center in Toledo said they've seen in uptick in the severity and frequency of domestic violence cases in the last few weeks. 

Some activists and experts say, the true scope of the violence will be seen after shelter-in-place measures are lifted and victims are able to safely make those calls.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SUPPORT SERVICES

Domestic Violence Court Advocacy – 419.244.3053 ext. 242
Court advocacy through Toledo Municipal Court, Toledo Domestic Relations Court, as well as Ottawa County courts.

Suburban Court Advocates – 419.882.9000 / 419.885.8975 option 6
Court advocacy through Oregon, Maumee, and Sylvania Municipal Courts

YWCA Domestic Violence Shelter – 419.241.7386
24 hr emergency shelter for women and their children

Lucas County Victim Witness Assistance Program – 419.213.4951
Court Advocacy through Common Pleas Court (felonies)

Crisis Response Team (CRT) – 419.245.3324 / 419.245.3127
24 hour service to reinforce follow-up of referrals and educate victims about options and resources available and encourage participation in the criminal justice system.

Kid’s Space – 419.245.1601 
Located in Toledo Municipal Court, Kid’s Space offers child care for women victims of violent crimes as they follow through with prosecution of their offenders, making it possible for victims to fully participate in the process.

VINE—Victim Information and Notification Everyday – 800.770.0192 
Find out information on offenders in custody for felonies by telephone

National Domestic Violence Hotline800.799.SAFE (7233) 
(TTY) 800.787.3224
 

DV Resource Center - 419.213.2700 
Interviews for CPO's and resources for victims 

RELATED: Toledo crime rate goes down amid coronavirus crisis

RELATED: Resources to combat domestic violence amid COVID-19 pandemic