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Domestic violence deaths skyrocket in 2020 amid COVID according to Phoenix police data

Posted at 9:04 PM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 00:04:10-04

In a Facebook live event Wednesday, Phoenix Police revealed some startling crime numbers.

“In 2019, there is just under 75 homicides for that time frame, we’re talking January through June, in 2020, we’re seeing almost a hundred homicides,” said Phoenix police Sgt. Mercedes Fortune.

Of those nearly 100 murders this year, a quarter come from domestic violence incidents.

In fact, domestic violence deaths in the city are up 180 percent compared to the same period last year, according to Phoenix Police.

“In June of 2019 we had nine homicides related to domestic violence, in June of 2020, we had 17,” said Sgt. Fortune.

In a 2017 study, the CDC found nearly 40 percent of people in our state had been a victim of domestic violence.

Stay at home orders went into effect in March.

Isolated from family, friends and work, many domestic violence victims find themselves trapped.

“They can’t go anywhere and then you add the stresses of the loss of a job,” said Sgt. Fortune.

These calls are proving deadly for officers as well.

Back in March, three Phoenix police officers were shot responding to a domestic violence call, with Commander Greg Carnicle losing his life.

And just this week, an Arizona woman was arrested for allegedly shooting and killing her husband in front of their three small children.

“We are experiencing ourselves a decline in hotline calls,” said Dana Martinez.

Martinez is the director for sexual and domestic violence services at A New Leaf.

A Valley advocacy group that provides a number of services to survivors.

She says according to those that have called, many have struggled to get away from their abusers long enough to seek help.

“Usually, by the time they’re ready to call law enforcement, that means it’s gotten pretty bad,” said Martinez.

So far this year, Phoenix Police received more than 21,000 for service related to domestic violence.

Martinez says hotlines now have text options, online messaging, all to help them be more accessible.

Based on the statistics, those in danger need these options more than ever.