Domestic disturbance runs jump during stay-at-home order

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Police departments in central Indiana are noticing a spike in domestic disturbance runs during the state’s stay-at-home order, and the numbers are alarming.

Two departments say calls are up more than 70%.

The Greenfield Police Department said during the first 12 days of April, they responded to 24 domestic-related calls for service. This is a 74% increase compared to the same time period last year.

Up until the past 12 days, Chief Jeff Rasche of the Greenfield Police Department said their numbers related to domestic disturbances have been normal in comparison to previous time periods.

“People are not able to get out and separate,” said Chief Rasche. “The burden of having financial difficulties compounds the stress that is brought on in a relationship. There is so much uncertainty about when are we going to be able to get back to work, what is going to happen.”

Chief Rasche explained domestic disturbances are the most difficult and dangerous runs for law enforcement to respond to. Thankfully, he said most of their domestic disturbance calls have not been violent.

Chief Rasche said their goal is to be the solution to the problem by providing resources to people so they can get help.

In the next county over, the Beech Grove Police Department saw an even bigger increase. In 2019, from March 25 to April 20, the police department responded to 17 domestic runs. During that same time period this year, officers responded to 36 domestic runs. That is more than a 110% increase in calls.

These numbers are heartbreaking for Danyette Smith to hear. Smith says she was a victim of domestic violence for 10 years.

“It is not a safe stay-at-home for any domestic violence victim,” she said.

Smith understands the fear of less opportunity to escape.

A few years ago, she founded an organization called Silent No More. The group’s mission is to change the mindsets of children and adults on their exposure and knowledge of domestic violence and teen dating abuse. She has also helped roughly 200 women who have been in abusive relationships.

During the stay-at-home order, she has been receiving more referrals than normal because it is becoming more difficult for victims to reach out without being caught.

“Because the abuser is at home, we get more calls than social media connections and inboxes,” she said. “We can’t call them just to check on them. We can’t shoot them a random text message.”

If you are in trouble, there is a number to call to get help: 1-800-799- SAFE.

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