What Did Berkshire County Domestic Violence Look Like Over the Past Year?
You may recall that a few weeks back we released some information from a recent report by the Department of Public Health which found a sharp uptick in fatal drug overdoses across the state. There was a 5% increase in 2020 across the commonwealth but in Berkshire County there was a staggering increase of 44%. We received this information in an interview with Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington. Harrington said that in 2019, Berkshire County had 39 fatal overdoses and 56 in 2020. As stated in the interview, the stress of the pandemic played a prominent role in this increase. You can read more by going here.
In that same interview we asked the D.A. if domestic violence was on an increase in Berkshire County due to the pandemic. According to Harrington, there wasn't necessarily an increase but there was some important information that she shared with us. Here's what the D.A. had to say:
What I'm hearing from advocates, our prosecutors, and the police is that what we're seeing more serious instances of domestic violence because of people being isolated. I don't think that law enforcement is necessarily seeing an uptick in the amount of domestic violence calls that they're responding to but they have seen an increase in the seriousness of the incidents that they are addressing.
If you suspect, are aware and/or are a victim of domestic and/or sexual violence, you can report it by contacting the Berkshire County Domestic Violence Task Force by going here. You can also contact the Elizabeth Freeman Center by going here.