Domestic Violence Calls On The Rise
Reports of domestic violence in the city of Jamestown increased significantly in 2016.
Statistics provided by Project Crossroads, a domestic violence collaboration between the Jamestown Police Department and Family Services of the Chautauqua Region, show a total of 1,630 domestic violence calls for service last year — more than any of the previous six years.
In 2015, service calls totaled 1,503, while 2014 and 2013 had 1,297 and 1,256 calls, respectively.
Jamestown police officer John Rader, who coordinates with Project Crossroads, said the spike in calls is largely due to better reporting, mostly by victims and even a growing number of children, which Rader said is a sign young people are getting more educated on the subject.
Rader added, however, that domestic violence doesn’t appear to be slowing down in the city.
“More and more reports are stemming from underlying issues, such as lack of work, drugs, alcohol and mental health issues,” Rader said. “We’ve also seen a sharp increase in the financial exploitation of our older population. Many individuals are stealing from their family and elderly relatives to help support their habits.”
In 2016, there were a total of 27 intimate partner victims of aggravated assaults, 22 of which were women. There were a total of 316 intimate partner victims of simple assaults, 252 of which were women.
While the year did see a rise in total service calls, the number of intimate partner victims in 2016 is comparable to the previous three years, with 33, 27 and 26 aggravated assault victims reported, respectively; and 301, 301 and 357 simple assault victims reported, respectively.
Rader said Project Crossroads has worked to bring service providers together to enhance victim services and community awareness for nearly two decades.
“The bottom line is that a domestic violence abuser wants control and the victim sees no way out,” he said. “Project Crossroads facilitates the Chautauqua County Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. This coalition is approximately 45 members strong. The coalition works to bring service providers together to enhance victim services and community awareness. This awareness is necessary to help target and reduce violent crimes in Chautauqua County. One of the main goals is to connect with victims and educate them on the many resources within our county.”
In 2016, Project Crossroads processed 1,249 domestic incident reports, served 1,136 victims of domestic violence, made 3,118 referrals, completed 28 educational presentations and distributed over 3,000 informational and educational items.
In 2015, the program processed 1,117 domestic incident reports, served 1,045 victims, made 2,774 referrals, completed 20 educational presentations and distributed more than 4,000 informational and educational items.
Other 2016 statistics show the JPD requested orders of protection for 254 victims and responded to a domestic violence incident every 5.4 hours.
A domestic violence arrest was made every 13.2 hours.
In an emergency, Rader advises the public to contact 9-1-1.
There are many agencies willing to help,” he added. “Our end desire is for survivors to reconnect with family members and friends, and achieve a sense of self-worth and realize there is a way out.”
If any organization or individuals would like to become a member of the Chautauqua County Coalition Against Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault, they can call Project Crossroads at 483-7718 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Salvation Army can be reached at 1-800-252-8748. Family Service of the Chautauqua Region can be reached at 488-1971 and Catholic Charities can be reached at 484-9188.