Domestic violence cases are expected to be higher in Flagstaff from last year, whereas rates across Coconino County are expected to drop.
Many people have been concerned about the impact the pandemic could have on victims of domestic violence. Experts working with domestic violence victims say that could be because of a myriad of problems that relate to stress in an individual’s life.
In 2019, the Flagstaff Police Department reported 1,809 cases of domestic violence calls. As of October 2020, the department had already recorded 1,589 cases.
The Flagstaff Police Department defines domestic violence as violence occurring between people who live together and isn’t necessarily limited to people romantically involved, according to Charles Hernandez, spokesman for the department.
“We suspect the increase is due to a combination of factors, with the underlying [COVID-19] restrictions and an increase in student housing with common areas for roommates.”
Alternatively, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office said their domestic violence rates generally are hard to predict year-to-year. As of October, the office had received 370 cases from around the county; last year, domestic violence cases totaled 483 calls.
“If everything follows true, our spike in domestic violence calls would have been in 2019; every other year is below that,” Paxton said. “It’s hard to say why.”