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Iowa and Illinois domestic violence cases rise in 2021

Freedom House Illinois says they've seen a 40-42% increased need for shelter and counseling services this year.

PRINCETON, Illinois — We are getting a closer look at the impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on victims of domestic violence. 

Prior to the pandemic, 1-in-3 women and 1-in-4 men said they experienced some sort of physical violence from an intimate partner. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner.

Now, numbers have increased during the pandemic. 

"This year with all of our services; shelter, counseling, we've seen about a 40 - 42% uptick in services." said Amber Killian, Domestic Violence Program Manager with Freedom House Illinois.

Killian says victims don't fall under one type of person. 

"It's across the spectrum. It's men, it's women, it's gender non-conforming, it's nonbinary. It's every gender under that umbrella," she said.

In Illinois more than 41% of women and nearly 26% of men say they have been victims of domestic violence. That's higher than the national average. 

"If there is not intervention, it escalates over time." said Vickie Smith, President of the Illinois Coalition against Domestic Violence.  

Those escalations can, in some cases, lead to death. Illinois saw 78 deaths from domestic violence from July 2020 to June 2021. 

One of those deaths happened in Rock Island County according to the ICADV. But domestic violence deaths are not unique to Illinois. A FOIA request to Davenport Police uncovered this year two domestic violence calls resulted in deaths.

Locally, we are seeing an increased number of calls to 911 for domestic violence as well. Local police say it is important to note, just because a call comes in and is categorized as domestic violence does not mean it is, in fact, domestic violence.

Bettendorf Domestic Violence Calls:
2019: 69
2020: 61
2021: 58 (thru Nov. 11, 2021)

Serious Injury:
2019: 2
2020: 1
2021: 5

Fatality:
*No fatality information provided by Bettendorf Police

Davenport Domestic Violence Calls:
2019: 5,224
2020: 5,439
2021: 4,863 (thru Nov. 11, 2021)

Serious Injury:
2019: 1
2020: 3
2021 15 (thru Nov. 11, 2021)

Fatality:
2019: 0
2020: 0
2021: 2 (thru Nov. 11, 2021)

Moline Domestic Violence Calls:
2019: 385
2020: 451
2021: 394 (thru Nov. 11, 2021)
* Serious Injury data not available
* No fatality information provided by Moline Police

Rock Island Domestic Violence Calls:
2019: 467
2020: 450
2021: 397 (thru Nov. 11, 2021)
* Serious Injury data not available
* There were no deaths reported by Rock Island Police

Find Illinois Domestic Violence Statistics Here.
Find Iowa Domestic Violence Statistics Here.

"This is preventable homicide," said Smith. 

She says a new committee is being formed right now in Illinois after being passed by Illinois Legislators, that will begin taking a closer look at past domestic violence cases and find intervention points. These are points along the way that someone could have intervened. The goal is to find ways to get people to intervene sooner. 

"We will begin to look at these cases much more closely at a more community level so that we don't have to rely just on law enforcement reports, and just on newsprints." said Smith.

That committee will begin working as soon a January 2022.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence there is help available. There are online instant messaging options available through The Hotline. Please keep in mind that internet usage can be monitored. Call 800-799- SAFE (7322). You can also text "START" to 88788.

To learn more about Freedom House Illinois Click here.
Below is a story about a project Freedom House Illinois did earlier in 2021 which put plywood cutouts along with the story of a person who died in Illinois due to domestic violence.

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