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Rockford's 2019 crime numbers show less crime but more domestic violence

(WIFR)
Published: Apr. 5, 2019 at 4:26 PM CDT
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Rockford city leaders say everyone in the community can do more to help domestic violence victims. During a news conference Friday morning the Rockford Police Department released for the crime numbers for the first quarter of 2019.

The numbers show that violent crimes and property crimes are down, but many of those crimes stem from domestic violence situations. 53% of aggravated assaults, 67% of simple assaults and 38% of intimidation reports were all domestic related.

“We are averaging more than 13 incidents per day," said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara.

McNamara is outraged by how many domestic violence victims live in the community.

“We are seeing now three to five on average every single week coming in a crisis situation at city hall because they need services now," McNamara said.

Many of those victims admit to being strangled.

"When you strangle someone you are literally practicing killing someone," McNamara said. "We have to take this seriously from all aspects.

McNamara says in order to combat domestic violence the community needs to help survivors.

"How can we think that we are going solve the domestic violence cycle if we are not helping survives," McNamara said.

"These numbers are unbelievably disproportionate and they all relate to domestic violence. It’s something that goes across the entire city and it continues to be a problem," said Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea.

Rockford police use a lethality assessment program that helps survivors get in contact with a hotline advocate, while police are on scene.

"We've really tried to intervene so we can stop the cycle of violence. Those people won't grow up in domestic situations and kids won't learn to be violent if we catch it soon enough," said Rockford Police Lt. Kurt Whisenand.

"We need to stand up and make sure that all of us are doing our best 24 hours a day, to make sure survivors get the services they need and honestly that they deserve," McNamara said.

Rockford leaders encourage anyone in the community dealing with domestic violence to call Remedies Domestic Violence Hotline at 815-962-6102 or call 911.