Domestic violence on the rise, economy could be to blame - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Domestic violence on the rise, economy could be to blame

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

Cairo, GA (WALB) - Valentine's Day proved to be a violent one in Grady County. The Sheriff's office got seven calls of domestic violence cases.    

A weekend that's supposed to be full of love, proved the opposite in Grady County with a spike in domestic violence. 

"This valentines day you'd think that'd be the time people, especially spouses would get along, but we had seven calls this weekend on domestic violence. That's over double the calls received during a typical weekend," said Sheriff Harry Young.

 If the numbers seem odd, Psychologist, Dr. Phillip DeBose has a possible explanation. "It's not too surprising, because emotions are charged. People who may have been letting things go between their partner might look at things more strongly with all the focus on love, being together...if somebody didn't do enough, if somebody did too much...." said DeBose.

 But could the economy, too play a role in the abnormal increase of domestic disputes? "We've seen a tremendous increase in domestic violence, alcohol use, and drug use. And I think it all stems from people not having money, they're losing their jobs," the sheriff said.

A recent blow to Grady county came two weeks ago, when Timken announced 54 layoffs, with no guarantee more aren't to come in the future.

Dr. DeBose says finances are the number one problem couples bring to his table, and can play a big role in family abuse. "Talk to each other, but if that's broken down , then talk to others. And anybody else stands to be of help unless they are egging it on. But pastors, counselors--  if it's gotten to the point of violence, they need professional help."

Sheriff Harry Young says his department usually deals with the same couples, but now, that's not necessarily the case. "We've experienced a lot of different calls to homes we've never been to before for domestic violence. Drugs and alcohol almost always play a part in domestic violence."

Counselors and law enforcement warn, it's never the answer to financial troubles.  Counselors say warning signs that your spouse may become violent include verbal abuse, Drug or alcohol abuse, and violence toward family pets.

If you recognize these signs, seek help immediately.

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