COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Domestic violence cases are rising in Franklin County.
And they’re rising faster than in years past, said Maria Houston-Beck, executive director of LSS Choices. It’s the only domestic violence shelter in the county.
“We have seen an increase in survivors for a while now. We have been at or a above capacity for the past year,” Houston-Beck said. “We currently have overflow strategies just so that we’re ensuring that we can assist anyone that’s in high danger.”
Columbus police data shows 21 people have been killed in domestic violence homicides in 2023 — nearly a fifth of all homicides in the city.
Domestic violence does not discriminate, Houston-Beck said. In Ohio, 38% of women and 33% of men are raped, stalked or abused by a partner in their lifetime, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Nationally, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience intimate partner violence in their life.
Houston-Beck said LSS Choices has the resources to deal with the increasing numbers. The shelter also operates a 24/7 hotline for victims or someone calling on a victim’s behalf.
“It can show up in a variety of homes. It can look like very different things, from (physical) abuse to financial abuse,” she said. “I want people to just be aware that it could be happening to anyone.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, there are resources available.
- LSS Choices 24/7 crisis hotline: 614-224-4663
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233 or live chat
- The Ohio Domestic Violence Network has a statewide map of programs and shelters here. You can also contact the network at 614-781-9651 if you need help accessing resources.