REDDING, Calif.– A year after the pandemic broke out in the country, we are learning more about the secondary effects of these challenging impacts. Shasta County prosecutors have seen an increase in violent crime within the family.
The Department of Domestic Violence saw an increase in crimes related to domestic violence in 2020, which include domestic violence and child abuse.
The FVU treated 896 cases in 2020 and 845 cases in 2019. That’s an increase from 51 cases last year.
Shasta District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett tells Action News Now the coronavirus pandemic is one of the main reasons her office has seen spikes in certain cases. Bridgett says this is a huge leap compared to the past few years.
“You have the stress of the pandemic and you don’t work and now you are at home in close proximity to people you sometimes can’t get along with,” Bridgett said.
“It gets worse the stress of time.”
In 2020, the DA office recorded 613 cases of domestic violence and stalking, 75 sex crimes, 39 cases of elderly abuse, and 169 cases of child abuse. The numbers show an increase in domestic violence, sex crimes and child abuse cases. But a slight decrease in the incidence of elderly abuse.
“These are numbers that have been reported to the bureau and that we are filing,” said Bridgett.
“I suspect these numbers are much higher than the actual numbers in the homes. It is therefore difficult to find a direct correlation as to why these numbers have decreased. “
However, the prosecutor assumes that there are other cases that have not yet been reported
One Safe Place works with victims of domestic violence and shares action news. Now it is difficult for the victims to come forward.
“One of the main reasons is that people are afraid that they will not be believed,” said Amanda Lampard of One Safe Place.
One Safe Place states that the number of personal services has decreased due to the pandemic, but that more and more calls are being received through the crisis hotline.
“Our numbers for personal services have gone down, but definitely not over the phone or through any of the other services we offer,” said Lampard.
There are five full-time prosecutors in the Domestic Violence Department who deal with crimes related to domestic violence.