A report from the Texas Department of Public Safety shows that domestic violence and family violence continued to increase since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020 and 2021, there have been 985 family violence-related deaths in Texas. In the four previous years from 2016-2019, there were less than 951. But despite North Texas’ best efforts, family violence is increasing. According to the Texas Advocacy Project, one in three Texans will experience domestic violence of some sort in their lifetime.
WFAA previously reported that in March 2020, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson asked the city’s domestic violence task force to make recommendations to reduce family violence aggravated assaults by 25% over the next three years.
“We cannot accept the status quo, and we must continue to work, to the best of our ability, to stop the scourge of violence in the home and between intimate partners,” Johnson said “And as with our broader violent crime issues, we must all commit to playing a part in the solution.”
Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 are especially likely to be victims of intimate partner violence. But this issue is not isolated to Texas, and the American Journal of Emergency Medicine reported domestic violence cases increased by 25-33% globally in 2020.
“Besides the quarantine situation, the pandemic also aggravated alcohol abuse, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder,” said Sumayah Abed, M.D., assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Family and Community Medicine. “All of these factors created an environment that exacerbates domestic violence.”
In October 2022, the city of Dallas started a domestic violence dashboard to increase community awareness and allow for real-time incident reporting. Yet, there are still high reports of violence.
“The slight rise in the number of domestic violence cases in Frisco over the last several years can be attributed to two main factors: the pandemic and increase in the population size,” Frisco Police Department Public Information Officer Grand Cottingham told Local Profile. “That being said, there is nothing to suggest that the number of cases is disproportionate to the city’s growth.”
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.