Las Vegas domestic violence cases drop in 2022
Domestic violence cases fell in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, but rose slightly in Henderson in 2022, according to crime data from local law enforcement agencies.
Cases fell by 5 percent in the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police Department. Henderson’s increase was 44 calls from January to November compared to call numbers for the same time period in 2021.
In 2022, domestic violence advocates in Southern Nevada noted that the drowning was a red flag for a potential escalation in murders, mass shootings and violence against police.
The trends in drownings were found by looking at data from the nonprofit SafeNest, as well as working with outside agencies, according to Liz Ortenburger, CEO of SafeNest, a nonprofit that works with survivors and perpetrators of domestic violence locally. . The organization works with about 30,000 clients a year.
“We started to realize that we have a massive gap in Nevada for survivors to get drowning exams and for those exams to be used in court and for us to prosecute drowning offenders,” she said.
Women who drowned as part of the domestic violence they suffered are 750 percent more likely in the first drowning to be killed, Ortenburger said. In addition, women survivors generally don’t call 911 until they’ve drowned at least five times, she said.
“We are a violent community”
Domestic violence calls to 911 fell in 2022, returning closer to pre-pandemic levels, Ortenburger said. During the pandemic, SafeNest saw about a 20 percent increase in call volume. She said the stress that comes from massive community events like a pandemic, natural disaster or mass shooting can prompt people with “violent tendencies” to commit domestic violence.
From 2011 to 2020, Nevada averaged seventh in the nation for murders of women by men, according to data from the Violence Policy Center. In the most recent report from 2020, Nevada ranks 18th among states.
“We are a violent community,” Ortenburger said. “We’ve had a lot of domestic violence.”
Eighty percent of domestic violence nationwide occurs in Clark County.
It takes a strong commitment to make a difference
If the community commits to funding the right programs, it can make a significant difference in domestic violence cases in Southern Nevada, Ortenburger said.
That effort, she said, would have to include “massive prevention funding” in the Clark County School District so that kids coming out of the public school system know what a healthy relationship looks like — and not just in a romantic context. .
Ortenburger said more needs to be done to hold perpetrators accountable.
“Until we as a community get serious about dealing with offenders, we will never end this,” she said.
Ortenburger urged people to call out the behavior of friends and family — behaviors that include dressing down, constantly complaining about a spouse or boyfriend, or humiliating someone in front of a group of people.
“Just don’t condone unwitting behavior in your social circles, because what isn’t corrected is condoned, and that gives a bully another green flag to say, ‘I’m in the right here because everyone agrees with me or laughs at me. . my jokes about him,” Ortenburger said.
Local law enforcement agencies in Southern Nevada released domestic violence data for 2022.
Metropolitan Police Department
As of Dec. 31, there were 19,186 cases compared to 20,187 during the same time period in 2021, according to Las Vegas police crime data.
Numbers were down in all area commands except Northeast, Northwest and Spring Valley. Northeast command cases were up 0.1 percent, Northwest command saw a 13.2 percent increase in calls and Spring Valley command a 1.4 percent increase.
Sgt. James Johnson works at the Family Justice Center of Southern Nevada, 861 N. Mojave Road. The center points victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking to the resources they need.
Johnson supervises Family Justice Center detectives who respond to calls for domestic violence crimes.
He called domestic violence cases one of the most dangerous types of calls an officer can respond to.
“Because everyone is somehow reinforced. The victims, the suspects,” Johnson said. “It’s a very volatile situation when you’re walking into someone’s home and they’re already fighting.”
People can come to the Family Justice Center to file a police report, get legal help, or get a temporary protective order or temporary shelter.
“It is widespread. Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence,” said Johnson.
He said Las Vegas police are constantly trained on how to handle domestic violence calls. This includes online refresher training and Family Justice Center detectives going to area commands to talk about trends and changes in the law.
“Every incident of domestic violence is different. You have to treat each one individually,” Johnson said. “You can’t put it in a box and say this is how we’re going to handle it because you never know.”
Johnson said the challenge with responding to domestic violence is that it is difficult to predict whether the violence will escalate or whether the first incident could result in a homicide.
“There’s always a concern about unreported domestic violence because we know it happens every day,” Johnson said. “What we try to do is push the Family Justice Center and the resources and we’re here when they want to report it.
North Las Vegas Police Department
According to the North Las Vegas Police Department, domestic disturbance/violent domestic disturbance calls decreased by 714 calls since November 15, 2022 compared to the same time period in 2021.
The top three zip codes in terms of domestic disturbance calls in 2022 were 89030 (2334), 89031 (1483) and 89032 (1366).
The department did not return anyone for comment.
Henderson Police Department
Between January and November 2022, there were a total of 2,237 calls since November 2022 and 2,193 at that time in 2021.
Henderson police divide their jurisdiction into east, west and north. Domestic violence calls were up in the east and west and down in the north.
Henderson’s department did not make anyone available for comment.
Contact David Wilson at [email protected]. Follow @davidwilson_RJ on Twitter.