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Dramatic domestic violence spike in Halton during coronavirus pandemic alarms police

Halton Regional Police saw a 140 percent spike in domestic violence incidents last month, compared to when the coronavirus pandemic started, the Toronto Sun reports.

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Halton Regional Police saw a 140 percent spike in domestic violence incidents last month, compared to when the coronavirus pandemic started, the Toronto Sun reports.

If the increase in cases persists, Halton police say they expect to respond to more than 4,000 "intimate partner violence" call this year.

"What is particularly concerning is that we recognize that all forms of family violence are under-reported," police said in a statement, Wednesday.

In the statement, police highlighted a specific example of such cases where a 911 call was made in a relation to an inter-couple conflict involving a man allegedly assaulting a woman at a residence.

Officers responded to the scene but were unable to discern what had happened from within the darkened home, the Toronto Sun reports.

"Officers gained entry to the house and soon located a male, as well as his common-law partner who had multiple red marks and bruising on her upper body," police explained.

"Officers learned that the male party had been drinking for several hours during the evening," they continued.

"Two children in the home reported hearing slapping, yelling and loud noises throughout the remainder of the night until police intervened."

The suspect was reportedly arrested on assault, assault causing bodily harm, and forcible confinement charges. The female victim was admitted to a local hospital to treat her injuries, police said.

Halton Police explained that this incident was one of 343 domestic violence calls they responded to in January 2021, up from 279 domestic violence calls in January 2020, according to the Toronto Sun. In January 2021, 83 domestic violence related arrests were made compared to 51 domestic violence related arrests made in January 2020.

"Tragically, January is not an anomaly," police explained.

"Our analyses indicate that this is a continuation of a trend of an increasing frequency and severity of intimate partner violence incidents in the community over the course of the pandemic," the continued.

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