A new report from OSBI shows a 20-year high in domestic violence reports during the pandemic.
Nearly 7 out of every 1,000 Oklahomans experienced domestic violence in 2020. Counselors at Palomar said they have helped more than 31,000 victims and families in the past year. That’s twice the number of victims in 2019.
Investigators at OSBI said about 80% of cases were assault and battery. 61 Oklahomans died at the hands of their abusers.
Palomar counselors said they noticed signs of increased family violence as soon as two weeks after the first shutdown.
Police departments and victims’ advocates said isolation, job loss, financial insecurity and fear fueled the spike.
Court closures also pushed back some divorce and child custody proceedings making it harder for victims to get protection.