Domestic violence on the rise amid COVID-19


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NY (WETM)- The stress of the global pandemic, coupled with movement restrictions, are contributing factors to the increased domestic abuse reports around the world, according to the World Health Organization.

In a joint meeting with the New York State Sheriff Associations, Chemung Sheriff Bill Schrom said that New York State saw a steep spike in domestic abuse claims.

“Some counties are up to a two-hundred-percent increase in domestic violence,” Schrom said.

Fortunately, those numbers do not reflect the calls that the Chemung Sheriff’s department is receiving.

“So, it’s been a trend in some locations but not everywhere, we have not experienced any of those as of yet,” Schrom shared.

And calls about domestic abuse are not the only change that the Sheriffs in New York State are seeing.

“Interestingly enough, a few counties have seen a spike also in overdoses within their counties, and an increase in burglaries,” said Schrom.

Schrom does not know why this area is not reporting as much abuse compared to other counties. He mentioned his theory that people might not be calling 9-1-1 because they think that law enforcement would not come because of the virus. But, he wants to ensure the public that if they call for help, the sheriff’s office will come to help and that there are safe housing for those who need to escape abuse.

Steuben County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement that they are recording a slight increase in domestic disputes.

“Obviously, this is something the Sheriff’s Office takes seriously, and we work very closely with other County agencies to offer support during this very difficult time,” said Steuben County Undersherill John D. McNelis.                         

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