Council President Pro Tem Smitherman’s statement on “unacceptable levels of domestic violence incidents”
Over the course of the COVID-19 public health crisis, domestic violence cases have increased precipitously nationwide. According to a study with the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, cases have increased by 25 to 33 percent nationwide, with an increase of domestic violence incidents increasing by 27 percent in Jefferson County in comparison to pre-pandemic levels.
In Birmingham, two women have been killed by their partners in less than a week — the latest tragedies that are part of an unacceptable trend. Domestic violence is an issue that impacts 1 in 3 women and is something that Council President Pro Tem Crystal Smitherman has been outspoken against during her time in office.
“I’ve seen issues of domestic violence ruin too many lives,” Smitherman said. “It has been distressing to see the numbers of domestic violence cases increasing the way they have in recent years. As elected officials we must continue to elevate the voices of those who not only have been affected by this, but also those organizations that can offer assistance to anyone looking to get out of an abusive relationship. Women’s History Month begins in a couple weeks and we will be continuing to have these important conversations during that time and offering assistance any way we can.”
On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide. In Alabama, the number of calls to the YWCA 24-hour Crisis Hotline have more than doubled since 2018.
If you or someone you know is facing a domestic violence crisis, please reach out to the 24-hour Crisis Hotline at 205–322–4878.