As of the late summer of 2020, domestic violence-related homicides in Phoenix were up by 180% over the same period in 2019. Phoenix is not alone in this area, although the percentage rise is perhaps unique. Other large cities are facing the same disturbing trend in family violence, with domestic violence deaths up in many large cities, including the following:
- By mid-October of this year, domestic violence homicides were at or beyond the number during all of 2019 in Memphis, Milwaukee and at least one suburb of New Orleans.
- In Tarrant County (Fort Worth), Texas, the number has almost doubled.
- By early October, the number of domestic homicides in the Seattle area equaled the combined total during the prior two years. With just one exception, all those homicides occurred after the governor of Washington declared a COVID-related state of emergency.
- In New York City, the number is up by 33%.
- Los Angeles has seen a 30% rise.
- Chicago domestic violence homicides are up by 47%.
These are just a few examples of the increase. Nationwide, the number of domestic violence homicides are up around 20%. These numbers, however, pale in comparison with the rise in homicides related to domestic violence in Phoenix.
The question, of course, is what is fueling the increase is domestic violence in general, and domestic violence homicides in particular. The issues no doubt include increased stress over the pandemic, loss of jobs and with it, additional financial stress. But apparently, with couples and other family members staying at home much of the time, there is less opportunity for an abused family member to make calls to DV hotlines and even to the police to report ongoing domestic violence. It has also been suggested that, particularly for victims who have never had to resort to asking for help to stop domestic violence, there is less opportunity to find the resources in the community to assist those with domestic violence problems.
To date, no one has provided an answer as to why the increase in domestic violence homicides is so much higher in Phoenix than in other major cities in the United States.
Law Offices of David A. Black
40 North Central Avenue #1850
Phoenix, AZ 85004