Domestic violence experts here answered 373 emergency hotline calls in one day, 16 every hour. At the same time, 80 requests for services went unmet, largely due to a lack of funding.
These are just a few of the numbers from the latest survey conducted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV).
Though the economy does not cause domestic violence, factors associated with a sour economy can increase the severity and frequency of abuse. At the same time, options for survivors to escape can be more limited.
“The economy is exacerbating domestic violence,” said Sue Else, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
“I urge communities to come together to stop the violence once and for all. Domestic and sexual violence affect all of us and all of us must be part of the solution,” said Else.
Each year, NNEDV conducts a 24-hour survey of domestic violence programs across the country.
On Sept. 15, 2009, despite the difficulty to raise funds for vital services, domestic violence programs nationwide provided services to more than 65,000 adults and children in one day alone.
Other national data include:
More than 23,000 crisis hotline calls were answered.
More than 9,200 requests for services went unmet, mostly due to funding shortfalls.
Nearly 31,000 individuals attended 1,468 training sessions provided by local domestic violence programs to help prevent violence and intervene early in cases of abuse.
These numbers are particularly troubling in Louisiana, which has led the nation in female homicides for many years.
According to the most recent Violence Policy Center report on FBI female homicide statistics, Louisiana was ranked first in the nation, with a homicide rate of 2.53 per 100,000 among females murdered by males – nearly double the national average of 1.30 per 100,000 females.
Beth Meeks, executive director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence calls those numbers ‘horrifying.’
“67% of these female homicides are women killed by their intimate partners. We simply must do more to support the local programs working daily to save these lives,” explained Meeks.
Across the nation on Sept. 15, 2009, two women miscarried as a result of domestic violence. Four women were murdered by their intimate partners. Seven children were killed by their fathers in domestic violence homicides. Seven babies were born in domestic violence shelters.
(The New Start Center’s Domestic Violence Vigil will be held on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 6:30 p.m.at the St. Martin Parish Government Building’s Council Meeting Room.)