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As Economy Falls, Domestic Violence Cases Rise

Last updated on Monday, December 15, 2008

(UNDATED) - As the economy skids down, domestic violence cases are heading up.

The Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence says the number of women seeking shelter has jumped about 25-percent in the last two months, a pace which would surpass the record 5.138 women who sought shelter in fiscal 2006.

Other measures are showing similar increases, including hotline calls, police runs and requests for services.

"Poor economic times are not the cause of domestic violence, but we know financial stressors take a toll on families, and it's one of the major reasons families fight," says ICADV Executive Director Laura Berry Berman. Berman says the recession is squeezing the shelters themselves, as donations and volunteer hours decline.

And shelters' efforts to move women out by finding them jobs are complicated by the lack of jobs to find. Shelters normally limit women to a 45-day stay. With jobs scarce, Berman says shelters are extending that deadline for women who would be in serious danger from their abusers.

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