Bad Economy Could Be Increasing Domestic Violence Calls to Police - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Bad Economy Could Be Increasing Domestic Violence Calls to Police

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KENNEWICK, Wash- Kennewick Police say domestic violence calls are increasing and it could be because of the bad economy. Police say the number one reason why families fight is because of money.

In Kennewick, police say there were 150 more domestic violence calls this past year compared to 2007. When police go to a domestic violence call they always try to find out what sparked the problem. They say one of the most common argument starters is financial problems.

Domestic violence happens when a family member attempts to physically or psychologically hurts another some studies have found that a bad economy can fuel these situations.

"Finances can add stress to any household the difference is perpetrators will turn that around and yield that as a weapon against their victims as a method of power and control," Kelly Abken, Executive Director at Domestic Services of Benton-Franklin Counties.

In homes where domestic violence is prevalent it is vital that the victim reaches out for help immediately.

"Domestic violence has led into some of our homicides here locally. They just kind of end up that way," said Ofc. Michelle Pitts, Kennewick Police Department.

Besides causing more stress the downturn in the economy weighs on the ability for victims to get out of their households.

"During tough economic times perpetrators have one more tool to use against their victims, to keep them trapped, to keep the barriers up, and it can seem for victims like there's no hope at the end of the tunnel," said Abken.

Police say domestic violence can be cyclical and can be passed down to children who grow up in that environment.

"If there's children involved you got to remember that you're teaching your children that, that's a normal relationship because that's how they are going to grow up. Your daughters going to grow up saying I'm supposed to be hit by men," said Pitts.

There is help available for victims. Domestic Violence Services of Benton and Franklin Counties has a 24-hour crisis line. That number is 1-800-648-1227.