JAMESTOWN – Domestic violence is often under-reported despite thousands of calls for help to local hotlines each year according to a Prevention Educator with the Salvation Army Anew Center in Jamestown.
“Domestic violence and sexual assault are the two most under-reported crimes in the United States,” Prevention Educator Diane Butcher said during a recent interview at an event to benefit domestic violence.
“We have Project Crossroads, which is an agency that handles domestic violence incidents through the City of Jamestown Police Department,” Butcher stated. “On average they hear hundreds of cases a month. Sometimes they hear as many as 1,200 cases a month.”
Butcher indicated the numbers were only reflective of a stricter criteria.
“Those are only the cases that happen in the City of Jamestown and only the cases that relate to criminal charges,” Butcher said.
The Southern Tier represents only a small fraction of the problem. Twenty people are victims of domestic violence every minute according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
“This is not a Jamestown thing. This is a global thing,” Butcher said.
Chautauqua County law enforcement officials said domestic violence rips families apart. The Salvation Army’s domestic violence program said they will end up providing more than 200 people shelter this year.
“We need to do outreach. We need to do awareness with the younger generation,” Butcher says.
Consequences can be fatal if victims can’t get away from their attacker. Shari Robbins was shot to death in a Jamestown parking lot by her husband Keith Robbins in early November just days after he received divorce papers from her.
A Jamestown woman had her phone broken and was held against her will Wednesday by long-time boyfriend, 35 year-old Justin B. Traver.
Jamestown Police arrested him for several crimes including unlawful imprisonment and multiple counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Traver’s girlfriend was treated at WCA Hospital and released according to a family member.