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Portland domestic violence arrests up during coronavirus pandemic, police say

Compared to the same time period from last year, police say domestic violence arrests have been up 27%.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland police on Wednesday said domestic violence arrests have increased since the city declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The bureau looked at the number of arrests from March 12, when the city declared a state of emergency, to March 23 and compared the number of arrests to the same time period from last year as well as the 12-day period prior to the emergency declaration.

Here’s what the data showed:

  • From March 12, 2020, to March 23, 2020: 38 domestic violence arrests
  • From March 12, 2019, to March 23, 2019: 30 domestic violence arrests
  • From Feb. 29, 2020, to March 11, 2020: 34 domestic violence arrests

That means, compared to the same time period from last year, domestic violence arrests have been up 27%. And compared to the 12 days prior to the state of emergency being declared, arrests are up 12%.

“It is important for us to continue to monitor data, especially as it relates to those who are most vulnerable in our community during this pandemic," said Chief Jami Resch.

Earlier this week, Emily Ritter, the executive director of Raphael House of Portland, said their 24-hour hotline is getting more calls than usual. Ritter said she expects calls to continue to increase as Oregonians are urged to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For those who live with domestic violence, staying home and isolated with an abuser can put the whole family at greater risk,” Ritter said.

RELATED: Staying home isn't safe for all: Domestic violence amid COVID-19

Domestic violence shelters in Portland are working around the clock to help victims and survivors impacted by Oregon’s statewide stay-at-home order during the coronavirus outbreak.

Despite the stay-at-home order and businesses being shut down, many shelters are still open for those who need help.

Resch said Portland police’s goal is to connect victims with community agencies.

“Please, help us get the word out about support services so we can help those whose safety is at risk,” Resch said in a press release.

Portland police have released a domestic violence flyer listing resources available to those who need it. 

Credit: Portland police
Resources for domestic violence survivors in Portland

The National Domestic Violence Hotline also has a guide for survivors on staying safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. Included in that guide are three steps: create a safety plan, practice self-care and reach out for help.

Ritter encourages anyone in need to reach out to their local 24-hour hotline at 503-222-6222. They can also call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

Anyone in immediate danger should call 911.

RELATED: Portland police chief says suicide calls are up during coronavirus outbreak

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