DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF)
by Allison Walker, Friday, September 9th, 2022 — The Artemis Center explained they’re seeking community support now more than ever as they saw a nearly 50% increase in domestic violence hotline calls from 2020 to 2021.
Dayton 24/7 Now Reporter Allison Walker spoke exclusively with the center’s Executive Director, Jane Keiffer, about the trends.
“People are calling us, experiencing more violence, experiencing weapons being involved, experiencing hostage-taking, we just know that it’s really gotten worse,” Keiffer explained.
The Artemis Center reports they saw a 47.7% influx in hotline calls from 2020 to 2021. They said nationally that increase was 12%, and in Ohio 29%. The organization also experienced a 30% increase in clients during that same timeframe.
“I know it will increase just because there’s less rules in terms of carrying conceal, and it’s easier to have a gun, which then we know in domestic violence that this makes it more lethal for survivors,” Keiffer said.
Now Keiffer worries about how Ohio’s new permitless carry law is impacting the trends, as she said if a firearm is involved, domestic violence homicides increase by 50%.
Keiffer is now calling on survivors to reach out to their advocates for help to plan for their safety. She said it’s critical to reach out to an outside expert for help as no domestic violence situation is the same.
“We can help you kind of talk through what are some steps that will help increase your safety…Do they threaten to kill you? Do they, have they actually pulled a weapon on you? Those are two high-risk homicide indicators,” Keiffer said.
Keiffer said the system is also being impacted by more survivors seeking protection orders now that the pandemic has settled down.
“I will tell you what we have been seeing a recent increase of people who English is a limited language for them and so getting interpreters involved to really help them understand court process and legal processes, and what their options are,” Keiffer said.
Now the center is calling on the public to ramp up support, Keiffer explained improving safety for survivors helps entire communities.
“Domestic violence doesn’t stay at home, it follows us to work, it follows us to the daycare. You can be anonymous, and you can reach out to us even if you’re like, is this DV? Call us and we’ll talk to you. Abuse is never your fault, and you’re never alone,” Keiffer said.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Artemis Center is hosting a “Breaking the Cycle” virtual 5k fundraising event, which will be held all of October.
The Artemis Center is also hosting a “Breaking the Cycle” fundraising breakfast on Thursday, October 13, from 8 to 9 a.m. at Sinclair’s Conference Center.
The Center said the goal is to raise $100,000 in support of survivors in the Miami Valley. The added support for the Artemis Center will help increase the number of trained advocates to answer the 24/7 hotline, and sustain other programs and services needed in the Dayton community.
To donate to the organization or register for fundraising events use this link: https://www.artemiscenter.org/events