Domestic violence cases spike across Connecticut

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Three years after Laurie Gellatly was shot to death by her estranged husband, cases of domestic violence are spiking across Connecticut by double digits.

“It’s alarming that the number is increasing, but it also tells me that we need to do more for individuals,” said Esperina Stubblefield, director of domestic violence services at BHcare.

Stubblefield tells News 8’s Mario Boone data from the most recent fiscal year shows in New Haven alone, domestic violence court cases jumped 20 percent. Along with that, there were more than 3,400 calls to an emergency hotline compared to nearly 3,300 the year before. Also, there were 318 survivors staying in emergency shelters, up from 294 the prior year.

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The types of domestic violence cases seeing an increase run the gamut, according to Stubblefield. “It is physical assault. It is threat to harm and sometimes it is stalking,” she said.

But there is some good news in the increase.

“It tells me that more people are aware that help is available to them. It tells me that more people want to get crisis help. More people want safety planning help,” Stubblefield explained.

Another reason for the rise is police are better trained to spot domestic violence and take action. Yet, higher numbers mean a bigger drain on already limited resources.

“So, we continue to do the best we can with the funding we have,” Stubblefield said.

If you are a victim of domestic violence call the emergency hotline at 203-789-8104.