Livingston County Sheriff says domestic violence calls are up 30% during pandemic


LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS)– The Livingston County Sheriff, Michael Murphy, says domestic violence calls have gone up 30 percent within the past month.

“I mean essentially a shelter in place, from a DV(domestic violence) standpoint, it was a recipe for disaster,” said Sheriff Murphy.

The sheriff says in a typical day, 0 to 2 domestic calls would be normal, but recently the county has seen anywhere from 1 to 4 calls a day.

The ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ executive order issued by the governor was put into place to help keep people healthy and safe during the coronavirus outbreak, but for some who are in a domestic violence relationship, it could be making their situation worse.

“Many domestic violence victims are rule followers because it could mean their life, life or death. So when they’re told not to leave their home, that is what they’re doing,” said the CEO for the Lacasa Center in Howell, Bobette Schrandt.

Sschrandt says because of the pandemic, it’s creating more problems for victims to leave their homes to get help.

“They have a fear of being in an environment that they’re living in that is dangerous with domestic violence occurring in their home. They also have that fear of coming to a communal living shelter because of the virus,” said Schnardt.

Stress levels may also be higher than ever in homes.

“People may not be working, they’re unemployed, staying in their homes, they’re confined,” said Schnardt.

Stress relievers could also be unavailable.

“Maybe work was a stress reliever right? Maybe going to the gym, can’t do that anymore,” said Sheriff Murphy.

What people can do though still, is get help.

“All domestic violence shelters are open, we are considered an essential service because we are life saving,” said Schnardt.

There are multiple shelters and centers for domestic violence victims around Mid-Michigan including the Lacasa Center in Howell and End Violent Encounters, also know as EVE, is in Lansing. The number for the 24 hour crisis hotline for EVE is 517-372-5572.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Michigan Headlines

More Michigan