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Felony related crimes, elder abuse among concerning trends at Domestic Violence Center

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - The Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center in Idaho Falls has noticed a couple of concerning trends throughout the last few years.

"We've seen an increase in cases becoming felonies," Executive Director Teena McBride said. "So there's more felony domestic violence crimes happening. The crimes themselves that we're seeing aren't new, but there are more resources that can investigate and look at these crimes, especially law enforcement."

The Idaho Falls Police Department has hired a detective who focuses directly on domestic abuse cases, giving victims more resources to seek the proper care that they need.

The center said with more focus on protecting victims, instead of sweeping the crime under the rug, there will be an impact on those committing violent crimes and the type of sentencing involved. Even though the severity of domestic related crimes has gone up, more resources are made available to victims.

Another concerning trend the center has noticed is elder abuse, especially with seniors who have disabilities.

"Adults or other family members that are becoming impatient or, financial abuse, those types of crimes, those are the crimes that we've probably seen an increase of," McBride said.

According to McBride, elder abuse can happen when respite care is not available. Getting caregivers to use respite care to have a second pair of eyes on the senior's assets is a priority. Something that McBride noted was that the center has probably done more protection orders this year than in years past.

Specifically addressing elders and the general population, the center hopes that the population doesn't become invisible, or unaware of the actions of others around them, and pointing out when behavior needs to be corrected.

"If we start becoming more concerned when there's only one person being impacted, we're going to reduce that crime much quicker than if we wait until we're seeing four or five or 600 people a year. We need to turn the train around way before that. So it's any crime, any crime. We don't we don't want to be the neighborhood or the community where we just go."

If you or a loved one are in a crisis situation call the Domestic Abuse Hotline at 800-799-7233, or visit the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center in Idaho Falls. For more information on the center in Idaho Falls, click HERE.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho Falls

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Travis Richards

Travis is a producer for Local News 8.


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