Domestic violence cases on the rise in Davis County

Posted at 6:19 PM, Jul 31, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-31 20:19:30-04

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah – There has been a sharp rise in domestic violence cases in Davis County, and officials at shelters said they are filled to capacity.

According to national statistics, one in three young Americans have been a victim of dating violence, and nearly one in three young Americans said they have been the abuser in such situations.

Officials with the Davis County Sheriff’s Office said they have been responding to more domestic violence calls lately, and they said the sheer number of calls makes it clear that it is becoming an issue in their community.

Kay Card is the executive director of Safe Harbor Crises Center in Kaysville, and she said they have 31 beds at their facility and they are always full. She said the violence is escalating and includes more than just slapping and hitting.

Sgt. Susan Poulsen of the Davis County Sheriff’s Office said there has been a shift, and they are seeing an increase in the number of cases involving estranged or divorced couples.

“We're guessing that it's probably equivalent to what's going on along the Wasatch Front and in the state.” She said. “We are on target this year for roughly double the number of domestic situations that we had in 2010.”

Day said they’ve seen the increase as well.

“We are seeing a lot more physical violence, a lot more serious injuries, a lot more individuals that need medical attention and psychological help, and that's more extreme than we've seen in the past,” she said.

Officials said they don’t know why the number of incidents is on the rise, but they said part of the issue is that victims often don’t recognize the warning signs of domestic violence.

Day said she thinks society has become more violent in general, but she said pinpointing a problem is one thing while finding the solution is something else. She said one of the biggest obstacles they face is a lack of funding, which keeps them from operating at their maximum potential.