BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33)(FOX 44) – Baton Rouge officials say stress associated with the COVID-19 outbreak can lead to an excess in drug use, crime, and domestic violence.
Now that most people are locked inside their homes, officials worry the number of domestic abuse cases will increase. The numbers have been historically low for the parish this year and the last, but it’s been some time since the public faced an ongoing crisis. That’s where District Attorney, Hillar Moore gets concerned.
“We ask people to stay at home because it’s safe. But the reality for many people is that home is anywhere but safe,” Moore says.
In 2016, the Baton Rouge Police Department recorded 570 cases of domestic abuse following the 2016 flood and over 1,500 cases for that year. That number kept going up, until it eventually leveled out in 2018. Now in the midst of the COVID–19 quarantine Chief Murphy Paul says that he’s already getting a few calls about domestic violence.
“We’re just asking people, encouraging people to relieve that stress, ” Paul says.
Officials say it’s too early to say that there’s a significant climb in domestic abuse numbers. They’ve only gotten a few calls and march isn’t over yet. But there are people you can talk to if you or a loved one is struggling.