Domestic violence in Bingham County in line with state average

BLACKFOOT — Idaho officials report that an episode of domestic violence takes place somewhere in Idaho once every 88 minutes.
According to the Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance, this number is based only on the number of reported calls and that actual domestic violence occurrences are likely even higher.
Dixie Chapman director of Bingham Crisis Center said she believes this statistic to be right in line with Bingham County.
"That sounds about right on," said Chapman. "We have seen a progression of aggressiveness in people and an escalation in the severity of domestic violence cases in Bingham County and around the area."
Chapman said there are several factors attributing to people's aggression and the domestic violence problem.
"The first is probably economics," she said. "Financial stresses can stir up anger; there are a lot of people who have still been out of work for a long time."
"I think the intensity of what people are seeing on TV or hearing about through the media is a factor as well," Chapman added, alluding to fictional television shows as well as real life local and national cases that have been in the news recently.
The Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance reports that 22 victims died in domestic attack in 2011 and that there were more than 5,700 cases of domestic violence in 2011 involving spouses, former spouses or those in a dating relationship.
Chapman said that she has seen an increase in teens and young women seeking help from abusive dating relationships.
"There is better awareness of bullying and dating violence these days and more people are coming forward for help," she said. "But it's sad to see this type of thing go on."
Chapman said that the Bingham Crisis Center assists about 450-500 men, women and children each year.
"We need to keep getting the word out that there are resources available for those in domestic violence situations," she said. "People need to nurture healthy relationships and be kind and respectful to one another. And always think of the kids."
Bingham Crisis Center is at 288 N. Shilling Ave. in Blackfoot. The phone number for regular business hours is 785-1047. The 24-hour crisis line number is: 681-8712.