CMPD, Gaston Co. reports spike in domestic violence cases during stay-at-home order

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A heartbreaking trend that has been seen during the stay-at-home order is a spike in domestic violence cases.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police released troubling new data -- since March 26, domestic calls have jumped about 20 percent. This is about 350 more calls than the same time period last year.

CMPD did point out that it is not clear how many of these are a result of the stay-at-home orders.

A woman who survived domestic violence years ago spoke at CMPD’s week briefing. She said it is so important to reach out for help now.

“Getting out of a situation has to stem from the survivor,” Shannon Rolinger said. “It has to stem from the person that’s in that situation. Nobody can make force you out of a home. Nobody can force you out of a situation, but you have to want that help.”

CMPD said it is handling domestic cases the same way it did before the stay-at-home orders.

In Gaston County, police said since the beginning of March, the number of domestic violence calls are up 33 percent over the same time last year.

“Take the combination of the stress of more time together and the stress of unemployment and the stress of COVID-19,” said Chief Joe Ramey, at the Gaston County Police Department.

Ramey said crime overall has gone up but seems to be slowly falling, but domestic violence calls remain high.

Groups like the Center of Hope in Gastonia want survivors to know that they have not closed.

If you or someone you know needs help, please don’t wait to get help -- call the Safe Alliance Hotline at 980-771-HOPE.