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Think Out Loud

The Rise in Domestic Violence

Pete Springer/OPB

Last year, the number of Oregonians killed by domestic violence increased more than 60 percent. One women’s crisis service says the trend is of epidemic proportions. But though the numbers appear to be rising, it is often difficult for society to recognize signs of domestic violence. Abusers seek power and control over their victims who, perhaps out of fear or shame, sometimes conceal the real cause of their injury with a false story. Domestic violence thrives on secrets, but one crisis line in the Willamette Valley received a record 14,300 calls last year — up from an average of 10,000, which may indicate that more people are speaking up and seeking help.

Even so, proposed legislation that seeks funding to track patterns of domestic violence fatalities in this state may face an uphill battle with budget constraints. Are you a survivor of domestic violence? Have you supported someone who has been abused? What do these new statistics mean to you?


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