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Fri, Oct. 18

Domestic violence in Kingman
Domestic violence reports are increasing in Kingman, but does that actually mean domestic violence is on the rise?

Almost every day of the year observes some kind of “National Day,” be it Lumpy Rug Day, Rubber Eraser Day or even Nothing Day. While some of those occasions are merely for fun, month-long awareness campaigns typically hit on more important issues.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which addresses a serious issue affecting millions worldwide. Almost 20 people, on average, are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S. every minute, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The alarming statistics don’t stop there. The coalition also provides figures that show one in four women and one in seven men have experienced “severe physical violence” such as beating, burning and strangling by an intimate partner in their lifetime. However, only 34% of people injured by their intimate partners receive medical care.

Domestic violence within a home with children is not just experienced by adults. NCADV says that one in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, with 90% of them being eyewitnesses to violence.

Kingman Police Department Deputy Chief Rusty Cooper explained domestic violence is one of the more frequent calls to which KPD responds.

“It also has the potential to be one of the most dangerous types of calls we respond to,” he said, noting that two officers go out on domestic violence calls. “The danger comes from people’s emotions being involved. The officers are put into a very intimate situation. Just by the very fact that we insert ourselves into this private situation based on the laws that require us to do that, they can become very dangerous for the officers.”

If an arrest is made, which is often the case, Cooper said the hope is the offender takes advantage of resources and programs such as anger management.

Domestic violence is present in Kingman, according to Cooper and the Kingman Police Department’s annual reports. At first glance, it appears domestic violence in Kingman has been on the rise over much of the last five years. Calls for service related to domestic violence totaled 710 in 2014, and 693 in 2015. Those figures jumped to 851 in 2016, 988 in 2017 and 1,075 in 2018.

However, more calls to law enforcement for domestic violence doesn’t necessarily mean more cases of domestic violence. Cooper explained there are other aspects of the conversation to consider. The deputy chief said the increase in domestic violence calls can be attributed to a combination of three factors.

First, he said reporting requirements for domestic violence have changed over the past five to 10 years, as has the definition for domestic violence. That means more acts now fall under its definition, which may result in additional calls. There has also been a recent increase in awareness surrounding domestic violence, which Cooper said could be leading to more reports.

The deputy chief couldn’t speak to whether there is an actual increase in domestic violence in Kingman.

“But I would feel very comfortable saying it is not decreasing as much as we would like to see,” he said.

Kingman Aid to Abused People has a 24-hour crisis line at 928-753-4242. There are national hotlines available as well: domestic violence, 1-800-799-SAFE; sexual violence, 1-800-656-HOPE; child abuse, 1-800-4-A-CHILD.

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