Domestic Violence: An epidemic
This past week in Palm Beach County there were three separate incidences of domestic violence locally, all ending in tragedy and death. Sadly enough all of these murders preceded the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. So far this year there have been 1,300 domestic violence calls placed to Palm Beach County Victim Services’ division. That’s up 300 from the same time period a year ago, and the Palm Beach County Sheriff has responded to 12,000 domestic calls.
One Saturday a West Palm Beach man killed his wife. Two days later in Rivera Beach an estranged husband shot and killed his wife, her four children and then turned the gun on himself. A few days later in suburban West Palm Beach another man gunned down his wife. Most recently, a nine year old child was killed in Davie, FL after her mother’s boyfriend was trying to flee from the man who opened fire on them.
The cause for the increase in domestic violence cases may be tied to the current economic conditions in the country. More people are seeking restraining orders and injunctions; but many abuse victims still protect their abusers and fail to report threats to the family, friends and/or law enforcement officials.
Domestic violence victims who are in need of safe shelter, referral and/or counseling services can call one of the following local organizations:
- Palm Beach County Victim Services 1-866-891-7273;
- YWCA Harmony House 1-800-973-9922;
- Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse 1-800-355-8547; and,
- Florida Resource Center for Women and Children 561-848-8383