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Advocates looking into how resources shared for domestic violence

Posted at 10:46 PM, Jun 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 07:07:27-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Cases of domestic violence have city leaders taking a closer look at how resources are shared with the community.

It impacts Hoosiers regardless of age, gender, race, or ethnicity.

"There are just many forms of it and it's about maintaining that power and control over that one individual," said Kelly McBride, executive director of the Domestic Violence Network.

Indianapolis police have investigated thousands of domestic violence cases so far this year, including one that left a man dead. Court documents show a woman followed him using GPS and then ran him over.

"It's tragic, especially now that we see that it's happening outside of the homes," said Danyette Smith, director of domestic violence programming for the City of Indianapolis.

Recent cases are raising concerns about domestic violence cases in our area.

From Jan. 1 to June 4, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's domestic violence unit was assigned 2,356 cases.

Smith said although they have a top 10 list for frequent domestic violence runs and calls with IMPD, the reality is this form of abuse is happening everywhere.

"Every zip code is impacted by domestic violence. There's not one that's better than the other. We're unfortunately seeing those high zip codes being in areas where there's a lack of other resources available to those areas such as jobs, transportation (and) food deserts," Smith said.

McBride said it's hard to pinpoint one exact reason for domestic violence, but there was an increase in calls during the pandemic.

"I won't say domestic violence increased, but we saw an increase in calls in domestic violence. That was due to isolation, losing your job, increased drug and alcohol use and I think we're still seeing the tail end of that," McBride said.

"We don't have to see these numbers. We don't have to have these kinds of violence in our community," McBride added.

Smith said fighting for victims reminds her of a time when she was going through domestic violence looking for resources to help her get out. It's now a passion of hers to be able to help those going through the same thing.

"We don't want to hear those stories. We're trying to get the resources out as much as possible, directly into the community so that way they know that there's someone they can call and talk to. However, for the ones we are just not able to, these are the stories that we're seeing," Smith said.

Mayor Joe Hogsett recently allocated funding for domestic violence resources in the city. Smith said Indianapolis lacks emergency shelters to properly house victims and that's a high priority.

She says they are strategizing different ways to be more effective in getting resources in the right hands by canvasing many neighborhoods throughout the area.