Tuscaloosa Domestic Violence Cases Show No Quarantine Spike
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many experts raised concerns over domestic violence and the stay at home orders adopted across the US. As we enter the fifth month of combatting the virus, data shows that domestic violence had no significant increase in Tuscaloosa since the first safer at home order.
On April 3, 2020, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statewide Stay at Home order, which went into effect the next day.
According to statistics provided by the Tuscaloosa Police Department, there were 112 cases of domestic violence in the city in April 2020. In the same period last year, there were 111 cases.
Even as months in quarantine continued and the Alabama heat grew worse, the domestic violence numbers still did not show a significant change over 2019.
In July of 2020, there were 183 instances of domestic violence. Last year there were 177, according to TPD.
The largest jump was in the month of May, up to 143 cases in 2020 from 129 in 2019, an increase of just over 10 percent.
Still, most months were flat, with variations of just one or two cases reported to the police department.
"It's hard to say that, oh, we went up by six calls, so there's an increase," Captain Brad Mason of the Tuscaloosa Police Department said. "Numbers that size, to me, six is not significant enough to say there's a correlation between the lockdown and domestic [violence] increase."
While quarantine may not have an impact on domestic violence in Tuscaloosa, police departments in other parts of the state are reporting upticks in calls. In Jefferson County, deputies reported a 27% increase in domestic violence calls in March 2020 alone.
"If someone is a victim of domestic violence, then they should call the Tuscaloosa Police Department if they live in our jurisdiction," Mason said. "This is not a report they can file online, the only way they can do this is by coming into the station and speaking to a police officer."
Any cases of domestic violence are too many, though, and there are several local resources where victims can seek aid.
Turning Point Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services - Hotline: 205-758-0808
Women and Gender Resources Center - 205-348-5040
Domestic Violence Law Clinic - 205-348-4960