SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Utah Domestic Violence Coalition tells us it is seeing more homicides related to domestic violence.
Many of those deaths involve a firearm.
“We have seen a spike in our calls to the hotline, the UDVC Link Line, as well as what seems to be an uptick in domestic violence homicides as well,” says Sonia Salari with UDVC. “The U.S. has the highest rate of gun violence in both homicides and suicides compared to all the other developed countries.”
Since January of this year, seven people in a relationship were killed by gunfire, according to Gun Violence Archive.
Up from the five during the same time frame in 2020. During that whole year, Gun Violence Archive tells us 14 people were killed by the use of a firearm.
“One thing that’s incredibly helpful is to have an advocate on your side and empirical evidence,” says Salari. “Domestic violence victims probably understand their own danger, you know very much so, and in a way the expert about what they are going through. And so, to push them into something that they are not necessarily ready for is not what we do at the UDVC.”
The UDVC victim advocates will help come up with a safety plan that is best suited for victims.
“Sometimes it’s a process to become empowered again when someone’s been trying to control for quite some time,” she says.
The UDVC doesn’t know if their uptick in calls is because of the state opening on April 10.
Advocates are asking family and friends to pay attention to the little things, and if they seem out of place, it may be time to ask how your loved one is doing.
Support for victims and survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence is available 24/7 at 1-800-897-LINK (5465). If you or someone else is in immediate danger, or in an emergency, please call 9-1-1 immediately.