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Wilton Police See Steady Rise in Domestic Calls

WILTON, Conn. – The number of domestic calls to Wilton Police has more than doubled since the start of the recession in 2008, but officials are not sure that economic stress is the reason.

The calls have climbed from 60 in 2008 to 127 so far this year.

“There have been a number of articles about how the economy has had an effect on the increase of domestic violence, so it doesn’t surprise us to see what we’re seeing in our numbers,” Wilton Police Commissioner Chris Weldon said during the commission's monthly meeting.

However, Chief Michael Lombardo said it’s not just the economy. “There are so many variables that it’s hard to say it’s just the economic interests,” he said

A domestic call is defined as a “family dispute where officers are dispatched.” The figures for the past four years are:

? 2008 – 60

? 2009 – 111

? 2010 – 116

? 2011 – 127 (to date)

Many of the calls were one-time and involved only verbal altercations, Lombardo said, although some were repeat calls and some involved arguments that turned physical. Generally the calls are make by one of the partners, the chief said. 

“I think we have seen a lot of incidents in the last two years, but it’s always difficult to say where it comes from,” said Kathy Lake, media relations advocate for Wilton's Domestic Violence Crisis Center. “If there are issues anyway, economic stress could make it worse.”

Lake said the Crisis Center does not consider a single incidence to constitute domestic violence. Domestic violence, she said, is a repetitive pattern of abuse though physical, emotional, sexual or verbal means.

The increase in calls could be due to heightened awareness, Lake said. This could be the result of “the efforts of both our organizations and the town task forces," she said. "Wilton has a very active task force, and there is a lot more awareness. And I think over time that can have an effect.”

 

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