Domestic abuse calls up 41 percent in Lanark County

Published on October 12, 2012 by Ian Sutton

Domestic abuse cases in Lanark County have shown a sharp increase over the past three years, including the number of crisis calls to the county women’s shelter and calls to police.

Lanark County Interval House in Carleton Place reports a 41-percent jump in crisis calls since 2010, adding to demand for its services.

Its executive director, Erin Lee-Todd, says the number of domestic abuse calls to the Lanark OPP detachment has increased by 31 percent between 2009 and 2011. The number of calls to the OPP detachment for the first half of 2012 suggest they’ll be up by 60 percent by year-end.

Lee-Todd attributes the growing incidence of domestic abuse to several factors, including the prolonged economic downturn and even this summer’s drought that has affected farms in eastern Ontario, as well greater awareness on the part of women of the available services and williness to report abuse.

“Local economic factor affect the rate of violence,” she told Lake88. “The recession lasting and impacting over several years certainly increases the stress on families. Loss of manufacturing jobs that has impacted Lanark County and when we look at issues related to agericulture and the drought of the past summer, we could see that those are increasing the stress on families, which increases the risk and the likelihood of violence.”

Interval House this week asked Lanark County council for $35,000 a year in long-term funding to allow it time to find other funding sources. It’s also asked area municipalities for $5,000 a year each to help meet its costs.