ST. GEORGE (ABC4 News) – Law enforcement in Washington County have arrested 18 people on domestic violence charges in the past 11 days that include assault, interfering with emergency calls, trespassing, and criminal mischief.
St. George Police told ABC4 News the high volume of domestic violence arrests is alarming and there is a slight concern that a handful of abusers will not only continue to harm family members, but also the public. In the last five days of 2019, Washington County law enforcement arrested 11 people, and, since January 1st, officers have arrested six more.
Kaiden Green of Washington City was arrested on New Year’s Eve for allegedly trespassing onto his ex-wife’s home. Green was booked into jail again Saturday after reportedly assaulting someone else while intoxicated, charging him with four counts of assault and a count each of criminal mischief, failure to disclose his identity, trespassing, intoxication, and disorderly conduct.
“Obviously with a couple of incidents within a few days, there’s probably something bigger that needs to be addressed,” St. George Police Officer Tiffany Atkin said. “Emotions can get very high, and I would think for most people it takes a long time to calm down and work through that.”
Atkin said officers don’t typically monitor domestic violence abusers after they’ve been released from jail unless they commit another act of violence; but, the Victims Services Unit of the St. George Police Department will keep in touch with the victims and immediately assess how fearful they are that their abusers will re-offend in a lethality risk assessment.
“We ask very poignant, sometimes painful questions as to your fear of how this person is going to react,” Atkin said. “Are they gonna be violent towards you? Have they tried to kill you before? Do they have weapons? Do they control your daily life?”
Depending on how the victim answers the questions during the assessment, officers call St. George’s DOVE Center to speak to the victim and bring the victim and any children into a safe environment immediately, according to Atkin. Police say abusers receive a no-contact order until they see a judge, normally within the next business day. Prosecutors then typically request a protective order that lasts about a week to give victims time to request a long-term restraining order; but ultimately, that decision is up to the victims.
“Nobody deserves to have this happen to them, and when it does happen, I would say not to minimalize it,” added Atkin.
Free and confidential help and support for victims and survivors of domestic or intimate partner violence is available 24/7: 1-800-897-LINK (5465) or udvc.org. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, or in an emergency, please call 911 immediately.
(Source: The Utah Domestic Violence Coalition) Domestic violence service providers in Utah offer free support and services to individuals and families affected by domestic violence. These services may include shelter, support, 24-hour crisis line, temporary housing, advocacy and referral programs, counseling, and transportation.
Canyon Creek Crisis Center; 435-865-7443; Iron, Beaver, and Garfield Counties located in Cedar City
CAPSA (Community Abuse Prevention Services Agency); 435-753-2500 Cache and Rich Counties located in Logan
Center for Women and Children in Crisis; 801-377-5500; Utah and Juab Counties located in Provo
Colleen Quigley Crisis Center; 435-637-6589; Carbon and Emery located in Price
DOVE Center; 435-628-0458; Washington and Kane Counties located in St. George
New Hope Crisis Center; 1-877-732-5600; Box Elder County located in Brigham City
New Horizons Crisis Center; 1-800-343-6302; Sevier, Millard, Piute, Sanpete, and Wayne Counties located in Richfield
Pathways; 1-800-833-5515; Tooele County located in Tooele
Peace House; 435-647-9161; Summit and Wasatch Counties located in Park City
Safe Harbor; 801-444-9161; Davis County
Seekhaven; 1-888-421-1100; Grand County located in Moab
South Valley Sanctuary; 801-255-1095; Salt Lake County located in West Jordan
Women’s Crisis Center; 435-781-0613; Uintah, Duchesne, and Daggett Counties located in Vernal
YCC (Your Community Connection); 801-392-7273; Weber and Morgan Ogden/Northern Utah
YWCA Women in Jeopardy; 801-537-8600; Salt Lake County located in Salt Lake City
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