Social distancing leads to an increase in domestic violence calls in Florence County

Updated: Apr. 6, 2020 at 9:04 PM EDT
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FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - As many people are practicing social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19, it has produced an increase in domestic violence calls in Florence County, according to the sheriff’s office.

Florence County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Glen Kirby said there’s been a roughly 30% increase in domestic violence calls compared to this time last year.

Kirby relates much of the problem to people wondering where their next paycheck is coming from and being locked inside their homes for long periods of time.

He said the crisis has created some challenges for his deputies when responding to domestic violence calls because they can no longer separate both parties by asking one to leave the home and find another place to stay.

Kirby is urging families to work together to get through this crisis.

“I’m telling people now if your spouse has been at home all day with the kids, give them a break. Tell her or him to go for a walk and you take care of the kids for a while. Realize these are tough times and we are going to have to make this work until we can get through it,” Kirby said.

To prevent domestic violence, the Florence County Sheriff’s Office is placing deputies in hot spot areas where calls are more frequent.

Kirby said they have more deputies patrolling than ever before as school resource officers and courtroom deputies are now working out in the field.

The Florence County Sheriff’s Office is asking that people being victimized by domestic violence please contact the Florence County Sheriff’s Office so they can assist.

If it is a verbal altercation, they will try to calm the situation down or if it’s physical they will respond accordingly by making an arrest.

“If a spouse is verbally abusing or abusing the children and you want help or want to talk to someone, then call and ask for one of our criminal domestic violence investigators,” said Kirby.

If you need help regarding a domestic violence issue you can call a criminal domestic violence investigator at 843-669-3911.

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