Washington faces record high domestic violence rates

William He, Reporter

In 2021, Washington ranked number eight in states with the highest rates of domestic violence. Throughout 2019, calls from King County residents to the National Domestic Violence Hotline hovered just under 200 a month. In April 2020, at the start of the stay-at-home mandate, the calls rose to 229, and in March 2021, they went to a high of 258. ​​Of the domestic violence cases in the state, 42.60% were against women and 28.30% were against men. Data from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office shows that domestic violence-related deaths have also surged to the highest numbers seen in at least 25 years, from 7 each in 2018 and 2019 to 29 deaths in 2020 to 25 in 2021. Rates of emergency room visits due to domestic violence in the county have also risen as have counts of referrals for felony charges and restraining orders. The Bellevue Police Department reported a 28% increase in felony domestic violence cases in the first months of COVID-19, and the Seattle Police Department reported a 21% increase. Anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse and is in need of support can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or call 911.