Domestic violence service calls on rise in Tahoe/Truckee
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. and#8212; External stress may be driving an almost 20 percent increase in domestic violence help provided by Tahoe Women’s Services.
Between January and March 2009 the North Lake Tahoe and Truckee organization provided 3,230 services to clients ranging from crisis intervention to individual therapy. From April to June 2009, that number increased by 19.8 percent to 3,879.
While that increase cannot be tied to an increase in domestic violence, it does show more services are being used, said Michele Prestowitz, TWS Development Manager. TWS has not launched a large outreach campaign that would have increased awareness of their services during this time, Prestowitz said.
and#8220;There are external stressors on families, which is increasing the domestic violence,and#8221; Prestowitz said. and#8220;There is always the possibility that people are seeking help more often.and#8221;
TWS provides direct services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and other individuals in crisis.
The external stressors might be caused by the economy, Prestowitz said.
Nationally financial stress may be linked with domestic violence, according to data released by the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
For victims who called the national hotline during a six-week study, 54 percent reported a change in their household’s financial situation in the past year.
From November 12 until Dec. 31, 2008, 32,316 hotline calls were received, with 7,868 callers participating in the study. Of those, 54 percent (3,272) answered and#8220;yesand#8221; to the question and#8220;Has there been a change in your household’s financial situation in the past year?and#8221;
Sixty-four percent also answered the second question affirmatively, which was and#8220;Do you believe the abusive behavior has increased in the past year?and#8221;
While TWS can’t quantify how many of its services are used because of economic impacts, the economy plays a big role in many family dynamics, Prestowitz said.
and#8220;When someone loses control of something like their job and finances they sometimes try to exert control over someone else in their life,and#8221; she said.
TWS has offices in Incline Village, Truckee, Tahoe City and Kings Beach. Their 24-hour help line is (800) 736-1060.
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