Domestic Violence Calls Way Up, Crisis Center Says

Woman Shares Personal Story

An Indianapolis crisis center is drawing a direct correlation between financial stress in a weakening economy and an increase in domestic violence.

The Julian Center, a shelter for women and children who have been victims of domestic violence, said the shelter has been full for the last 12 months, 6News' Sarah Cornell reported.

When "Susan" was five months pregnant, she decided that enough was enough. In September, she came to the center from Atlanta with her 7-year-old son, running from her husband who had been beating her for months.

"My husband was in denial about his issues of domestic violence and … wanted to blame everything on the economy and bills," Susan said. "It's not going to get better. We just had to leave."

The problems began when Susan lost her good-paying corporate job. Financial trouble led directly to violence.

"Sometimes, it was like pushing me in my head … or he would use other objects, like doors," Susan said. "He broke my foot one time."

Ann Delaney, executive director of the Julian Center, said she has been seeing more cases similar to Susan's. Not only have the number of incidents increase, but so has the severity.

"Our victims are much more likely than before to be seriously injured," Delaney said. "In fact, there was this one horrific case where the actual charge was attempted murder because the beating was so severe."

Delaney said there is no denying the relation of the declining economy to violent episodes, and Susan encourages other victims to drum up the courage to leave.

"It comes down to your children and you and your safety," she said.

Susan said her husband has not tried to contact her in months. She's expecting a baby girl in January.