Report: Indiana domestic violence increasing
Domestic violence related homicides and 911 calls went up from 2020 to 2021, according to the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence report.
Turning Point Domestic Violence services based in Bartholomew County saw increased need across the board, and it’s emphasized the importance of funding sources.
Almost $3 million was distributed to 51 Indiana prosecutors’ offices and service providers last month through the STOP Violence Against Women grant program.
Turning Point received more than $47,000 this year to help cover staff positions. According to Carrie Kruse with Turning Point, it takes them about $2 million a year to operate.
She added COVID-19 and current economic pressures mean more survivors are reaching out for support.
“It is a steady increase," she said. "We haven't hit plateau or what I would call a new average or normal to say that this is this is what it's going to look like.”
This time last year, her organization was serving 580 households through nonresidential services. Now it’s 786. It also provided about 1,600 more nights of emergency shelter than in 2021.
Money from the STOP Violence Against Women grant focuses on legal advocacy, counseling, training for law enforcement and court personnel, and victim support services, with most of that going to prosecutors offices.
"Coordination between survivor services and advocacy services, law enforcement, and the courts; it's incredibly important to be able to have a systemic response,” she said.
Kruse said her organization provides legal advocacy for survivors and training for law enforcement.
Devon McDonald is the executive director of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, which distributes the grant funds.
“We really hope that there are there people in the community that (survivors) can go to," McDonald said. "That they have an investigator that's trained, possibly in trauma informed care. So, they're better able to deal with what that person has been through."
You can connect with resources in Indiana by calling the Julian Center: 317-920-9320, Indiana 2-1-1 and National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233