DA: domestic violence makes up majority of recent arrests during COVID-19 crisis

Posted at 12:34 PM, Apr 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-13 13:01:36-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Out of 19 individuals booked over the weekend, 11 defendants were charged with crimes related to domestic violence, said John Flynn, Erie County District Attorney.

The alleged crimes occurred between Friday evening, April 10 and Sunday, April 12 in the City of Buffalo. Some cases included assault, criminal obstruction of breathing, menacing, and harassment.

According to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, there have been a total of 76 domestic violence-related arrests throughout Erie County Since March 16.

Over the past four weeks, there have been an average of 19 domestic violence arrests per week. In 2019, the DA's Office prosecuted 916 domestic violence cases, which averages approximately 17 cases per week.

“Unfortunately, as predicted, my office is seeing crime in general going down dramatically, except for domestic violence cases. While the data shows a slight increase in overall cases, I am concerned that these numbers may continue to rise as people remain home to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Erie County DA John Flynn.

The Erie County District Attorney’s Office continues to remind the public that if you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911.

Counselors are available by phone to provide resources through the Erie County 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 716-862-HELP.

The BE-SAFE Victim Advocacy Program provides support, resources and safety planning for victims of domestic violence.

BE-SAFE advocates and social workers are providing remote advocacy through phone outreach on any incoming case. While calls cannot be answered directly at this time, the office line is being monitored by BE-SAFE and linked to the local domestic violence hotline: 716-858-4630.

For more information on Staying Safe During COVID-19 from the National Domestic Violence Hotline, click here.

Signs of an abusive partner include:

• Physical abuse (pushing, punching, slapping, choking, kicking, holding you against your will and/or using a weapon or threatening to use a weapon)

• Verbal abuse

• Sexual abuse

• Financial abuse

• Displays jealous, controlling or possessive behavior

• Blames others for his/her/their problems, does not take responsibility for their own actions, or minimizes his/her/their actions

• Threatens self-harm, harm to children or pets

• Destroys property

• Stalking or violating orders of protection