APD, Liberty House work with hundreds of domestic, family violen - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

APD, Liberty House work with hundreds of domestic, family violence victims

Domestic and family violence victims often don't talk about what is happening. (Source: WALB) Domestic and family violence victims often don't talk about what is happening. (Source: WALB)
Lieutenant Kawaski Barnes is a detective with the Albany Police Department. (Source: WALB) Lieutenant Kawaski Barnes is a detective with the Albany Police Department. (Source: WALB)
Diane Rogers is the executive director of the Liberty House. (Source: WALB) Diane Rogers is the executive director of the Liberty House. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

If you're in a domestic violence situation, it's time to get help. 

That's the message police and social workers have for both men and women in South Georgia. 

Albany police have responded to dozens of cases relating to domestic violence in the past week alone. 

"If we have one instance of domestic violence, domestic homicide, I consider it to be a problem," said Lieutenant Kawaski Barnes, a detective with the Albany Police Department.

Albany police and local non-profit organizations like the Liberty House are trying to stop domestic violence one incident at a time. 

"I think our community doesn't see how much of an issue that it is," explained Diane Rogers, the executive director of the Liberty House. 

The Liberty House in Albany sees an array of domestic violence victims in both Dougherty County and throughout South Georgia, serving 17 counties.

This crisis hotline is available 24/7 for people in South Georgia who need help and can be reached at (229) 439-7065 or (800) 334-2836. The organization also has an emergency shelter for women and children who are victims of abuse.

"If there is any physical, emotional, sexual, financial abuse of any kind, they should call for support," said Rogers. 

In Dougherty County this year, the Liberty House has had 120 crisis calls, 33 people used the shelter and 34 received outreach services. 

But often times people don't get help before a situation escalates, sometimes the violence leads to death.

"The persons involved have formed a relationship. They have a bond and it's not easily broken," explained Barnes. "Often times they try to reconcile. Then things go sour again and we repeat the cycle."

This week Barnes said the department has responded to a high volume of domestic violence-related calls, however, the number of cases the department has worked in 2018 is down from last year. 

"It doesn't necessarily include violence. It could be theft, property damage, things of that nature," explained Barnes. 

In 2017, APD responded to roughly 2,900 incidents of family violence.

In 2016, APD responded to 3046 incidents of family violence. 

In some cases arrests are made, other times police don't have enough evidence to make an arrest. But police said many times they are called to houses multiple times for family violence cases. 

Since the start of this year, police have responded to almost 690 family violence cases, a number detectives said is too high, considering many abuse cases aren't reported. 

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