Increase in Domestic Violence Cases

According to officials with one Meridian agency, there's likely a connection between the surge in crimes committed in the public and those committed at homes.

Care Lodge Domestic Violence Shelter Executive Director, Leslie Payne, says the recent surge of crimes in the community reflect what's happening in homes here.

'In the month of October we provided assistance and information to 23 individuals on the domestic abuse protective order process. That is a huge increase from that time last year.'

Also, Payne says over the last year the Care Lodge Shelter has served about 20% more people, and had about a 25% increase in the number of calls it receives.

"There is certainly a correlation there with the increase in local crimes and the increase in our calls. When a child is exposed to violence in the home, then they are more likely to grow up and perpetrate that violence toward others,' says Payne.

When it comes to domestic violence, the affects can be far reaching. Aside from a family being directly affected, co-workers of victims can be affected or even the family's pets. Just last year, Care Lodge assisted a family affected by domestic violence after the family's dog was poisoned.

Ultimately, Care Lodge officials say putting an end to domestic violence will take a group effort.

'I think our community is taking a stand against the violence,' says Payne. 'We're all working together, the community supports Care Lodge. We are working to help end abuse.'

Care Lodge Domestic Violence Shelter is based in Meridian. It serves 9 counties in East Central Mississippi and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.