BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – Buffalo police officials are reminding the community to pay attention to the warning signs of domestic violence, this comes after there were two incidents in one week of domestic violence in the city that left one person dead.
Buffalo Police captain Jeff Rinaldo says overall there hasn’t been a huge increase in cases so far this year in Buffalo, but he does say a lot of time domestic crimes go unreported.
The most recent case happened Saturday. According to police, a woman is in serious condition after she was shot during a domestic incident on the the city’s east side near Martha and Bailey Avenue. News 4 is told police are still investigating.
Then last week, an 18 year-old was found dead in a car at MLK park. The victim’s boyfriend is charged with second-degree murder.
Despite there not being an increase in the amount of domestic cases police have responded to, calls made to organizations like Crisis Services has increased.
“We look back at our numbers from 2019 and then look 2020, we definitely see that there were an increase in the helpline and also to the New York State’s domestic hotline,” said Jessica Pirro, who’s the CEO of Crisis Services.
Rinaldo says in many domestic cases victims feel helpless that they have no where to turn to. He encourages people to reach out to local organizations and learn how to spot the warning signs.
“That’s why it’s important for people to understand early on in relationships or early on when signs of anger and aggression are evident that people that are in those types of relationships, and that applies evenly with women as well as men, they really need to consider getting out of those relationships or at least getting some type of services and resources,” he said.
Pirro says warning signs include being belittled, emotionally abused, any unwanted physical contact or isolation from friends and family.
Several options include:
- Crisis Services 24- Hour Hotline -716-834-3131
- Erie County Domestic Violence Helpline- 716- 716-862-HELP
Domestic Violence Shelter: 716-884-6000
- Text the NYS Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline at 844-997-2121.
- You can also chat with a domestic violence hotline counselor via https://opdv.ny.gov/chat.html
Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.