Domestic Violence on the Rise During Medical Crisis
This medical crisis is causing added stress for many families and this is resulting in a spike in domestic violence calls to police and the D.A's office.
Caddo District Attorney James Stewart tells us "justice is in full swing”. He adds: "with mandatory lockdowns, victims are hidden from the eyes of the community.
Stewart says his office is seeing a rise in the number of cases and there is concern we could see more severe injuries.
Domestic violence cases make up 35% of all arrests in Caddo Parish.
Stewart says the health crisis has created stress and fears of unemployment, sickness and death, all factors that may cause batterers to intensify their abuse. Additionally, lockdowns and stay-at-home orders force victims into isolation with their abusers. And helping hands and resources may not be as readily available to victims seeking to escape or simply survive the violence.
The District Attorney’s Special Victims Unit, which is the front line for domestic violence cases, continues to actively work cases as they come. The unit’s investigators and attorneys are in contact with victims, witnesses, and law enforcement officers who first respond to domestic violence incidents.
Help is still available to victims through the courts by way of bond hearings and protective orders. The Caddo Clerk of Court is still handling protective order applications and judges are still able to issue those orders in civil and criminal courts.
Project Celebration, a local advocacy group, stands ready to assist victims with protective order applications, shelter and other basic needs. The contact number for Project Celebration is (318) 226-5015 or toll-free (888) 411-1333. An advocate works both numbers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Victims may also contact the Family Justice Center at (318) 505-7139 or click here to connect with them online.