- The Fond du Lac Police Department reported instances of domestic violence hit a nine-year low in 2022.
- Requests for nonprofit services are up as people are able to seek help after lockdown.
- Domestic tensions may have heightened during the pandemic.
- Police have a domestic violence intervention team.
- Law enforcement and nonprofits are working toward prevention with outreach programs
Domestic violence is the leading cause of violent crime in Fond du lac, according to the Fond du Lac Police Department. But, the department reported instances of domestic violence hit a nine-year low in 2022.
In 2022, crime statistics show Fond du Lac police responded to 543 calls for domestic-violence related incidents, which is a 9 year low. And, it's significantly lower than a peak in 2020, when there were 765 calls.
While the stats show a downward trend for police response, the Fond du Lac nonprofit Solutions Center, which assists in instances of domestic violence says it’s seeing the opposite. The organization saw a decrease of calls for help during the pandemic, and is now seeing the need for their services increasing.
“It makes more sense why law enforcement would have seen an increase [in 2020], because their response is on the front end,” Solutions Center interim director Amy Bayer said. “So, they respond in those crisis moments; and we help a combination of either someone trying to leave the relationship or they have left the relationship.”
Bayer said during the pandemic, stresses may have been heightened, contributing to violence.
But, once lockdowns eased, people were more able to reach out for help or leave an unhealthy relationship.
Fond du Lac Police Chief Aaron Goldstein said the department is working to make the numbers continue to go down, with the help from a Domestic Violence Intervention Team established in 2013
“That's been an added responsibility for our officers,” Goldstein said. “And what that means is if we respond at any time of the day to a domestic violence incident, they are made aware of that and they have then some patrol time to really dig into that call.”Goldstein said the department plans to add a full-time officer to just focus on domestic violence.
Law enforcement and nonprofits are doing community outreach in places like schools or homeless shelters.
“[It’s about] having that education to prevent and kind of break that cycle from happening within the next generation,” Bayer said.
Solutions Center said if you're a victim or know someone who is, you can can call them for help at (920) 923-1700.