BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek says domestic violence cases have increased since the COVID-19 pandemic began, when comparing the numbers from this time last year.
“Sheriff Filicetti and I recently evaluated the number of domestic violence arrests,” said
Wojtaszek. “According to our numbers, domestic violence arrests from January 1, 2019 through April 6, 2019 totaled 674. During that same timeframe this year, the total number of domestic arrests rose to 773, nearly 100 more cases county-wide.”
Wojtaszek says that times of intense stress often lead to an increase in cases of domestic violence.
“In many households we may have a confluence of events that can include family isolation and social distancing, anxiety over COVID-19, perhaps job loss and other economic stress, home schooling children and so on,” said Wojtaszek. “This can be a very troubling mix that leads to domestic violence.”
Domestic violence in the home is not just physical, she says, but can include verbal, emotional, financial, animal and sexual abuse, too.
“For any individual or family who may be struggling or experiencing violence in the home, I want you to know that you are not alone,” said Wojtaszek. “In addition to law enforcement, it is important for each resident of Niagara County to know that there are many support agencies that continue to be available to you. Shelters and housing also remain available during this health crisis.”
The YWCA of the Niagara Frontier’s 24/7 Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at (716) 433-6716. For emergencies, call 911.