Domestic violence calls up for surprising reason

Posted at 8:24 PM, Aug 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 20:24:33-04

 It's a problem that's historically been hidden behind closed doors, but that's changing.

Lansing Police Department Captain Cherie Ballor explained, "People are more aware or willing to come forward and call the police when they need help or their neighbors are willing to call the police more or get help, whatever resource it is."

Which is why she believes the number of domestic violence incidents is increasing.

The Department's statistics show domestic felonious assaults rose from 212 in 2014 to 287 in 2015. And, domestic non-aggravated assault calls were up from 405 in 2014 to 482 in 2015.

"I don't know that there would ever be an end, but I hope that we as a community can be supportive and provide resources to families that need that help," Captain Ballor said.

She's referring to resources like the Capital Area Response Effort. Program Coordinator Kathleen Miller told us that after an arrest an advocate from CARE arrives to aid the victim.

"And give immediate crisis intervention, which kind of entails empathetic listening, education on the dynamics of domestic violence and access to resources so that the survivor can make empowered choices," Miller explained.

But, not everyone is ready for help right away. Captain Ballor said it could take seven times for a victim to leave the assailant, resulting in a number of repeat offenders.

"Perpetrators try to isolate the victim by erecting barriers and making the survivor feel like there's no way out," Miller said. "Domestic violence is about that pattern of power and control."

So, CARE continues to reach out, hoping to break down the barriers and help victims become survivors.

The rise in incidents is sending more cases to the Prosecutor's Office, which has pushed Ingham County Prosecutor Gretchen Whitmer to assign one Assistant Prosecutor specifically to domestic violence cases.

Another effort to put a stop to the crime by showing offenders their actions won't be tolerated.