Barry County Sheriff’s Office sees rise in calls for domestic abuse
BARRY COUNTY, Mo. (KY3) - The number of calls for domestic assault in Barry County is on the rise. The sheriff’s office says it’s seeing more calls in the last six months than ever before.
Barry County Sheriff Danny Boyd say he’s seeing a 40-45% increase in those calls. Sheriff Boyd says his office is getting about three or four domestic calls per shift per day.
”Prior to that, we averaged maybe one or two domestics every three or four days,” Sheriff Boyd says. “Weekends of course, you have a higher volume.”
Sheriff Boyd believes COVID-19 played a big role in this rise.
“Some folks losing their jobs through the pandemic, I think that also affected the increase of domestics,” says Sheriff Boyd.
The Victim Center’s director of development, Shelly Drymon, says it takes a lot for a victim to come forward.
“Where are they gonna go,” Drymon says. “They’ve been isolated, perhaps they don’t have any money. So just to step up and take that call, make that call really takes a lot of courage on behalf of the victim.”
Drymon says that’s why it’s important for them to think of a safety plan. She says the most dangerous time for a victim is when they’re starting the leave the abuser.
“A lot of times, the abuser will say, especially in domestic violence situations, ‘I will find you if you leave me, I will kill you if you leave me,’” Drymon says.
The sheriff’s office is short seven deputies, leaving the sheriff and his under-sheriff to fill in the gaps.
The result is leaving deputies busy and burnt out, often already behind on calls before their shift starts.
“Having to go from one end of the county to the other, it can take 45 minutes to an hour to get to another call,” Sheriff Boyd says.
Sheriff Boyd says those domestic calls pose the most danger for deputies.
“We try to send two officers to each domestic call because that’s usually when somebody gets hurt, officer wise,” Sheriff Boyd says.
Sheriff Boyd says the most frustrating part for law enforcement is that, nine times out of ten, the victim asks not to press charges.
“Your hands are kind of tied,” Sheriff Boyd says. “In a domestic, if there are any kind of injuries, assaults, whatever, somebody needs to go to jail.”
Sheriff Boyd says there isn’t a specific trend with the age group making these calls. Deputies are seeing them from older and younger couples.
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