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The Rise in Domestic Violence Arrests in Columbus

Posted On: July 7th, 2024   |   Posted by: Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
The Rise in Domestic Violence Arrests in Columbus

Columbus has seen a troubling rise in domestic violence incidents and domestic violence-related homicides in recent months. The surge coincides with a change to Ohio law last year that classified strangulation as an automatic felony. Recent statistics raise important questions about the underlying causes of domestic violence and what can be done to address the issue.

Recent Statistics and Trends for Columbus Domestic Violence Cases

Recent reports indicate a spike in domestic violence cases in Columbus in 2023 that has carried over into 2024. According to ABC6, there have been multiple dangerous incidents this year, one of which in June 2024 resulted in a fatality.

This escalation is part of a broader pattern observed by police across Central Ohio. In 2023, Columbus police recorded 25 domestic-violence related homicides, compared to just seven in 2022.

A recent NBC4 article highlights the collaborative efforts of local organizations aiming to curb domestic violence. Despite these efforts, the statistics paint a concerning picture, with the number of reported incidents and arrests on the rise.

What’s Causing Higher Domestic Violence Arrests in Columbus?

Several factors may be contributing to the rise in domestic violence cases, including:

Reclassification of Strangulation as a Felony Offense

Perhaps another possible factor in the increase in domestic violence arrests is a change in state law that occurred in early 2023, when Ohio became the last state in the country to make strangulation a felony offense. This legal shift was urged on by domestic violence victim advocates and forensic nurses because strangulation is often a predictor of future lethal violence.

By elevating the severity of strangulation, Ohio lawmakers aimed to provide stronger protection for victims and deter potential offenders. According to WOSU, the city attorney’s office has referred nearly 180 felony strangulation cases to the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office so far in 2024.

Economic Stress

In the ABC6 article, a spokesperson for the Ohio Domestic Violence Network said they hoped domestic-violence related deaths would fall post-pandemic, but so far that has not been the case.

Economic hardships, such as job loss and financial instability, can exacerbate tensions within households, leading to a higher incidence of domestic violence. The lingering effects of the pandemic and current economic challenges in Central Ohio may be contributing to this stress.

Columbus Housing Crisis

A recent editorial in The Columbus Dispatch shed light on the ongoing housing crisis in the city. Soaring housing costs are making it increasingly difficult for residents to find affordable places to live. When people are forced to stay together due to high housing costs, tensions can run high as resources are strained even further. This situation can have a ripple effect, potentially contributing to a rise in domestic violence incidents.

Higher Rates of Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is often linked to domestic violence, as the availability and use of substances such as opioids and alcohol can impair judgment and escalate violent behavior. The continued high rates of addiction in Columbus and across central Ohio may be another contributing factor in the rate of domestic violence incidents.

Lack of Resources and Funding for Victims

Community partners and victim advocacy groups in Columbus also cite dwindling resources as a contributing factor posing a threat to the safety and well-being of victims. In May 2024, Columbus City Council provided $500,000 to a local domestic violence shelter which, like many similar organizations, suffered a significant drop in federal funding over the past few years.

Limited shelter availability creates a desperate situation for victims seeking escape from abuse. When safe havens are unavailable, victims may be forced to remain in dangerous situations, potentially leading to more frequent or severe domestic violence incidents.

Call LHA Today if You’re Arrested for Domestic Violence in Columbus

While there’s no one direct cause of the recent rise in domestic violence events in Columbus, we can acknowledge the many influencing factors such as legal changes and lack of affordable housing.

If you live in the Columbus area and are dealing with domestic violence charges, you need a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney. At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we have successfully represented many people in situations like yours. We can fight to clear your name and negotiate to get your charges reduced or dismissed. If you’ve been charged with felony strangulation, we’ll fight to keep a conviction from changing your life forever.

We’re here 24/7 — call (614) 500-3836 or contact us for a free consultation today.

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