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APD Is Reporting Rising Domestic Violence Calls. Here’s How One Atlanta Safe House Is Coping

Following the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks, Mayor Bottoms announced plans on Monday for an administrative order which would send all cases of deadly force by officers to the Atlanta's Citizen Review Board.
Following the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks, Mayor Bottoms announced plans on Monday for an administrative order which would send all cases of deadly force by officers to the Atlanta's Citizen Review Board.
Credit Alison Guillory / WABE

Police departments nationwide are reporting that domestic violence cases are on the rise amid coronavirus shelter-in-place orders.

An Atlanta Police Department spokesman told WABE’s “Morning Edition” that there was a 36 percent increase in reported domestic violence incidents from March to April.

As Gov. Brian Kemp held a broad coronavirus response presser outside the state Capitol in early April, Kemp said he was concerned about local hospitals taking in more domestic abuse victims.

“As we continue to fight this virus, our office is receiving reports that are concerning and deserve the public’s immediate attention,” Kemp said.

“We have been told by one Atlanta-area hospital that they are seeing a 15% increase in domestic violence cases at their facilities. This is disturbing and alarming.”

Cities like Chicago have reported a 14% increase in call volumes during the first week of April, compared to the same week last year. Dallas police reported a 20% increase from February to March.

“Morning Edition” host Lisa Rayam spoke with Kelsi Deel, the founder of the House of Cherith in Atlanta. The organization’s motto is to reclaim, renew, and rekindle: offering safe housing and support to women recovering from sexual exploitation and trauma.

Deel said, lately, the hotline has been ringing regularly.