Over the past few years domestic violence has been on the rise in Stockton at an alarming rate.
“Of the 876 domestic violence cases that the District attorney office handled in 2018, 4,483, or 76 percent, had originated from Stockton as stated by Chief Deputy District Attorney Ken Pucket.
2018 is the most recent year where numbers are available.
On average women are more likely to fall victim to domestic violence, However, men too experience domestic violence.
“1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime,” according to the Women’s Center Youth & Family Services website.
In more recent years the numbers of domestic violence have been skyrocketing.
ABC10 reported that over the past year, of the 40 reported cases of homicide in Stockton,11 were connected to domestic violence.
Compared to the previous year the homicide rate at the time was 29, which is a drastic increase.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 has been a difficult year and has presented new challenges and hardships for many.
Over the course of the pandemic people have found themselves stuck at home for a major part of the day as lockdown continues in efforts to lower cases of COVID-19. Being in lockdown at home with significant others for longer than usual periods of time has been thought to be a contributing factor to domestic violence cases.
Although the pandemic is not the one to blame for the domestic violence that occurs among partners it has been a contributing factor to seeing more cases, and has also affected victims’ ability to access helpful resources.
“Definitely right now it is huge it is rising up but it is also not being recorded, so data won’t be reflective of that because it is not being recorded as much but it is increasing right now due to the pandemic,” said Gauri Sanchez, program administrator for Stockton Trauma Recovery Center.
The St. Mary’s Dining Room partnered up with the Women’s Center Youth & Family Services to create a support group for domestic violence victims. Up until recently this group would meet every Friday since it was first created in 2018, but was affected by the pandemic and has been unable to meet since.
According to Moreno the group was created after several ladies would come in to speak about their domestic violence they were experiencing.
“Because of COVID, we had it closed so we are waiting as soon as this blows over to reopen. ur goal is to open hopefully as soon as next year, our goal is to open as soon as possible, “ said Mercedes Moreno, director of social services for the St. Mary’s Dining Room.
Realistically not all victims come forward and report their abuse to authorities, but many do seek out support groups. These support groups are important to giving victims the courage but also the tools to report their abusers.
“They didn’t want to report, they wanted to talk to someone initially, that’s why we made the contact and wanted to start the group. Most of them didn’t report they didn’t want to get their partner in trouble, they just wanted to get the help for themselves,” said Moreno.
If you are experiencing domestic violence and need help, call Women’s Center Youth & Family services Domestic Violence 24-hour helpline (209) 465-4878, National Domestic Violence Hotline 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) Stockton Trauma Recovery Center (209) 941-0701, or the District Attorney’s Office Domestic Violence Unit (209) 468-8979.