KSL INVESTIGATES

Domestic violence can increase and intensify during the holidays, but help is available for Utahns

Dec 22, 2021, 10:15 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 10:00 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The holidays are a happy time for many, but they can also be stressful, and for some, even dangerous.

“There’s always a spike,” said Unified Police Department Sgt. Melody Cutler about reports of domestic violence. “It’s something that we definitely see go up.”

UPD and other departments have victim advocates available to respond on any day of the year.

“It occurs year-round, but we throw the stressors on which also could increase the violence,” said Cutler, referring to additional stress that can sometimes accompany the holiday season.

Experts say Utah is lacking when it comes to collecting uniform data on the prevalence of domestic violence in the state, but UPD provided KSL with numbers that show the holiday uptick they’ve come to expect. “It’s not like dramatic, but there’s definitely an increase there,” said Cutler.

The data highlights domestic violence-related cases during the last three years, looking at the six-week period leading up to the holidays compared to the six-week period covering Thanksgiving through New Year’s.

The numbers from the previous two years show a slight increase over the holidays.

In 2019, UPD noted 567 domestic violence cases before the holidays, and 576 during the holidays. In 2020, there were 597 cases leading up to the holidays, compared to 603 in the same amount of time over the holidays.

The data for this holiday season is incomplete but UPD reports 323 domestic violence cases between Nov. 20 and Dec. 22.

“That’s still significant,” said Cutler. “That’s additional people that are being harmed in their homes, or they’re being harmed again, and again and again, and that’s something that we would like to see stop.” Jennifer Campbell with the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition said it’s important to note that domestic violence is a problem in Utah every day of the year.

“It’s really hard to admit that this is a problem because we don’t want this,” she said. “Nobody wants this for families. No one wants a home to be unsafe.”

Campbell said every county in Utah has a domestic violence provider ready to help. “They are local nonprofits, they have crisis shelters, they have hotlines, they have services that are there 24 hours a day,” she said.

Utahns can always call local law enforcement for help or to report domestic violence by calling 911. Campbell says they can also call the organization’s 24-hour LINKLine at 800-897-LINK (5465) to get connected to local resources and help in their area.

The line is for anyone who has experienced or witnessed domestic violence or is concerned they might carry out violence to get help.

“It can be for someone who just wants to help our community to stop violence,” said Campbell. “We can connect them with their local providers and help them know ways that they can lend a hand.”

Both Cutler and Campbell said the goal is to connect Utahns with services as soon as possible before violence intensifies further or leads to domestic violence homicide.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

KSL Investigates

Brenda White cookies...
Matt Gephardt

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Rent prices down nationwide but very high in Utah

All over the country, the cost of rent is finally starting to go down. But that is not the case here in Utah.
2 days ago
...
Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: Cybersecurity experts caution shoppers to take it slow while shopping online

For many of us, Christmastime is magical. For scammers, it’s especially magical. Here's what to beware of when shopping online.
8 days ago
Gephardt makes butter...
Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Can you save money by making your own butter?

Prices for groceries are up, but the price we pay for butter is way, way up – to the point it will impact your holiday baking budget.
9 days ago
(KSL TV)...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Packed holiday flights: How SLC Int’l stacks up against US’s largest airports in delays and cancelations

Travelers, brace yourselves: holiday flights will be packed.
9 days ago
Jennifer Steele holding her daughters GPS watch. (KSL-TV)...
Matt Gephardt and Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

Safety feature or distraction? Debate over kid-tracking watches in the classroom

A mom says it’s about safety. Her school says it’s a distraction. Where is the line when it comes to smartwatches in the classroom? KSL’s Matt Gephardt investigates.
14 days ago
Scammers...
Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: Received a package delivery text? Scammers are luring Utahns with fake tracking alerts

Utahns are getting targeted by scammers sending out fake delivery notices.
15 days ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Domestic violence can increase and intensify during the holidays, but help is available for Utahns