Crimes in DuPage County are up from last year, including domestic violence.
According to the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office, from March 8 through October 1 of last year there were 391 domestic incidents. In that same time frame this year there have been 579 cases, which is a 48% increase. In Naperville, domestic-related arrests already match those from last year at 144.
Reason For The Increase
Justin Kmitch, the director of communications for the sheriff’s office, said the increase directly correlates with the stay-at-home order, put into effect by Governor J.B. Pritzker on March 21.
“Now you’re placed in a scenario where you’re literally locked down with that person [abuser] five times more than you would’ve been normally,” said Kmitch. “Unfortunately these are the numbers that we see, this is the result.”
Kmitch said if community members find themselves in a domestic violence situation to call 911. A forensic behavioral therapist accompanies a deputy to the call, and they follow up to make sure a victim is well.
Family Shelter Service
“In 1989 DuPage County and Naperville worked together to mandate that all of the calls that police departments receive regarding domestic violence, they are mandated to be reported to Family Shelter Service in DuPage County,” said Alex Milkent a program supervisor at Family Shelter Service. “So we can follow up with those victims and provide them any support that they need.”
Milkent said one in three women and one in four men will experience some type of domestic violence.
To help victims, Family Shelter Service provides them with housing, academic aid, and other resources. Due to the ongoing pandemic, they’ve had to house victims in hotels and have looked to find creative ways to show support, like providing 150 victims with self-care baskets.
Recently the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office also shared their support with victims by providing them with flowers from their Hope’s Garden.
“Just by us expressing ‘we’re here for you, we want to provide you this, we care about you’ is really sending that message home. And they’re going to value themselves even more, and that is really important to us,” said Milkent.
If you are or know someone who is a victim of domestic violence call 911, or Family Shelter Service’s 24/7 hotline at 630-469-5650.
Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.
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