Domestic abuse cases are on the rise - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Domestic abuse cases on the rise

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  In the last several weeks the Liberty House has filed for an unusually high number of temporary restraining orders. There's been six in three weeks. The number of domestic abuse cases are on the rise. What's causing the increase is hard to pinpoint, it could be anything from the heat to the economy.

It only takes looking at the Albany Police Department's incident book to realize police have had their hands full with family violence situations, page, after page. Some times the abuse isn't always physical.

 "We've had victims who never ever have been physically abused, but they were certainly psychologically, emotionally, and financially abused for a long period of time, and they end up dead," said Liberty House Executive Director Silke Deeley.

Because it isn't always physical, police may be quick to walk away, making identifying the abuse difficult.

"If we're waiting for the blood and the bruises and what people think of- well this is domestic violence because this is what it looks like, people have black eyes and bruises and injuries, but that's only the escalated part of that," said Deeley.

Physical injuries are often a sign that comes too late. "If the women doesn't have physical injuries, I don't think it gets taken seriously."

There are agencies like the Liberty House that can help, but even their resources have been strained with the fire this year. It takes the community standing up when they see an obvious problem, like the circumstance this week in Sylvester.

"If there are screams and arguing and crying, their pulling their shades down and closing the door, because they don't want to get involved."

The Liberty House knows leaving the situations is a process, that doesn't just include walking out the door. If you know someone being abused they say don't ignore it, be a good listener, and help them to get help. 

Georgia has a 24 hour confidential statewide domestic violence hotline. That number is 1-800-33 HAVEN.

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