More than 1,700 domestic violence victims denied assistance

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 12, 2015) -- A new report from the Domestic Violence Network says hundreds of Hoosiers seeking to escape domestic violence are being denied essential services.

The report comes with two headlines.

The first headline is that there’s more awareness about domestic violence than ever before and more people are seeking help. Unfortunately, that directly leads to the second headline, which is that the state's resources to deal with the issue are being stretched thin.

Over the last few years, crisis calls to places like the Julian Center have continued to climb.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in people calling our crisis line,” said Julian Center president and CEO Catherine O’Connor.

Because more people are seeking help, according to the report, last year more than 17 hundred victims in central Indiana were denied services because shelters were over capacity.

That’s nearly triple the 600 denials from the year before.

“People are coming to terms that violence isn’t something that’s acceptable and they’re getting courage to flee those relationships,” said Chris Handberg with DVN. “Now we’re getting to the point where we’re bottlenecking the system.”

“It’s important for victims not to be discouraged by these numbers. Seek help if you need help and you’re ready for help,” said O’Connor.

O’Connor adds that victims most in need are never be turned away.

“It’s our mission to make sure that anyone in imminent danger has a place to go,” said O’Connor.

“More resources would absolutely be welcome because all the shelters I work with are at or near capacity 365 days a year,” said Handberg.

The experts admit it’s hard to know whether domestic violence is actually increasing or if the awareness of the issue is simply encouraging more people to seek help.

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