Summer Domestic Violence Skyrockets

By: Meghan Dwyer Email
By: Meghan Dwyer Email

WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) -- This summer domestic violence has become an epidemic in Winnebago County. In June Rockford Police say there were 419 reported incidents of abuse - in other words, someone got hurt by a loved one every two hours.

And of all shots fired in Rockford in June, 15 percent were domestic related - many happening inside a home with children present.

Since January the Winnebago County Domestic Violence Assistance Center has helped 901 people get emergency orders of protection - 104 were issued in June.

Karen Gill, Vice President of Operations at Remedies Renewing lives says local shelters have started turning families away for the first time since the fall of 2011. Six adults and eight children couldn't get help in June, even though the shelter has 45 beds and is one of the biggest in the state.

"When we were 5 years old, we all knew you don't hit. Where did we lose that?" Gill says.

The heat, the economy, and having kids home from school full-time could be putting extra stress on parents who might have already been on the verge of a breakdown.

"How sad that these children are going to bed at night not knowing what's going to happen next in their own home."

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