Women Helping Women CEO Kristin Shrimplin told corporate and community leaders Thursday the number of Tri-State gender-based violence incidents is increasing. She estimates by the end of 2019, there will be 9,000 unduplicated survivors. That's up from 7,400 in 2018.
Shrimplin says the increase in domestic violence incidents is not because people are talking about it more and realizing they were victimized years ago. She says these are incidents that have just happened.
She speculates on what could be causing the increase. "There's less prosecution of those who are committing these crimes, less accountability. There's no funding really at all, in a significant way, being driven on a statewide or national level for prevention."
Over the last two years, gender-based violence in the Tri-State is up 55% and that has dramatically increased the amount of spending for Women Helping Women. Shrimplin says expenses to protect the survivors are up 105%.
Even with what she calls a "public health epidemic," she says volunteers are able to get to everyone who calls with a need.
"To me, I don't know what's in our climate that's going to suggest, one, let's prevent this, because critical policy and funding is not coming to the table for us. And, two, if you are going to commit this violence we will hold you accountable," says Shrimplin.
The Justice Department says every 73 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. Last year it was every 98 seconds.