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Utah’s intimate partner violence sources, resources waning

No More Secrets

In 2004, the Utah State Domestic Violence Cabinet Council released the first annual report, “No More Secrets,” on domestic violence and sexual assault statistics in the state, using sporadic timelines between 1994-2003. While the report was informative it didn’t include specific “domestic relationship groups” – only Women, Men and Children. When the 2005 report was released by the revamped Governor’s Violence Against Women and Families Cabinet Council, it included specific groups such as step-parent, common law spouse and homosexual relationship (collectively Intimate Partner Victims).

Similar with the 2004 report, 2005 staticized the numbers sometime between 2001-04. However, because more law enforcement agencies participated in the Incident-based Reporting program (IBR), a more detailed and clearly reported set of information was used to compile three specific areas of domestic violence: Offenses Committed, Victim and Weapon Used, and Victim Injuries.

In 2004, using data provided by 58 out of 122 law enforcement agencies, the IBR reported 1 sex offense, 7 aggravated assaults, 39 simple assaults, and 5 intimidation charges among the homosexual relationship group. Fifty-one of the 52 offenses included a weapon, and a combined 116 injuries were reported among the victims. In the 2009 NMS report there was a significant incline in total offenses in 2008 of 93 and of which 76 included a weapon.

Then the 2012 report recorded an overwhelming surge in 2011 of 442 offenses among homosexual relationships. However, two scenarios could explain the exorbitant rise – either many more agencies took advantage of the IBR program in 2011 or more likely, since the 2011 report was not available (or possibly not even produced) the 2012 report was a combination of 2011 and 2012, but was not indicated as such in the published report. Accordingly, the number of offenses fell drastically in the 2013 and 2014 reports.

According to each NMS report provided, the most cited common offense among homosexual relationships in Utah was Simple Assault, an offense which doesn’t involve physical contact with the victim, and the most common weapon used was Personal Weapons, i.e., hands, feet and teeth.

No further annual report has been provided to the public to date. A call to the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice for comment on the report went unanswered by press time.

No More Abuse

Domesticshelters.org is an extensive source of information and assistance for all persons of intimate partner violence (IPV) and domestic violence. As of early July 2017, the website had 2,958 shelters/programs across the country registered in its database. There are 19 in Utah among the list, and only nine offer LGBTQ services:

  • Canyon Creek Women’s Crisis Center in Cedar City, UT. Hotline: 435-865-7443 Main: 435-867-9411
  • CAPSA in Logan, UT. Hotline: 435-753-2500
  • Center for Women & Children in Crisis in Orem, UT. Main: 801-377-5500
  • DOVE Center in St. George, UT. Hotline: 435-628-0458
  • Pathways Tooele Domestic Violence Safehouse, Valley Behavioral Health in Toole, UT. Hotline: 435-224-2710 Main: 435-843-1677
  • Peace House in Park City, UT. Hotline: 800-647-9161 Main: 435-658-4739
  • Salt Lake Area Family Justice Center at the YWCA Utah in Salt Lake City, UT. Hotline: 801-537-8600 Main: 801-236-3370
  • Seekhaven Family Crisis and Resource Center in Moab, UT. Main: 435-259-2229 or 435-210-0617
  • YWCA Women in Jeopardy in Salt Lake City, UT. Hotline: 801-537-8600 Main: 801-537-8604

Domesticshelters.org also provides daily rankings by state. The rankings are supported by the number of agencies/shelters reporting to the site. Below are a few of Utah’s rankings as of 7/13/17.

Domestic Violence Spending—Population: 2,942,902; Reporting Locations 5; Total DV Spending $4,895,500; Spending by Location $979,100; Per Capita $1.66

Persons Turned Away—Reporting locations: 3; Total Persons Served: 14,168; Total Persons Turned Away: 2,105 (1,118 women and 987 men); Turned Away Percentage: 12.9

Average Funding Sources—Reporting locations: 5; Avg Federal Budget: $216,885; Avg Federal Percentage: 23; Avg State/Local Budget: $263,675

Many other resources are available at domesticshelters.org including Surveys, Custom Reports, Assessment Tools, Recommended Books, Online Forums/Chats, and more.

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Tony Hobday

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