Domestic violence

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Domestic violence is classified by Multnomah County as a "pattern of assault and coercive behaviors, that batterers use in relationships to gain power & control over their intimate partners."[1]

At a Multnomah County Commissioners board meeting on October 7, 2010, commissioners declared that October be Domestic Violence Awareness Month.[2]

In 2008, 17 deaths in Oregon were associated with domestic violence. In 2009, that number jumped to 39. In 2010, investigators linked at least 43 deaths to domestic violence.

Legal system

If you were arrested in Oregon for a serious felony charge or a domestic violence offense, you will most likely be booked into custody and brought before a judge the next business day.[3]

Regional services

Area shelters and county services for domestic violence victims have to turn away 17,000 people a year. There has not been an increase in funding in over 10 years.

In a national survey conducted on Sept. 15, 2010, Multnomah County offered 45 emergency beds for single women, and 55 for women with children, for 100 total beds. That same day county-wide, services had to turn away 89 requests for beds.

The need for domestic violence emergency shelters in the Portland remains high. Nine out of 10 survivors who call crisis lines are turned down because of no bed space.

   * In Oregon, 48 percent of domestic violence survivors remain in an abusive relationship because they don’t have a safe, affordable place to live.
   * Last year, 76 percent of the individuals we served were under a direct death threat from an abuser before coming to our shelter.
   * Twenty-six percent of adult shelter residents had visited a hospital emergency room for abuse injuries within the past year.
   * Seven percent had spent one or more nights in a hospital for abuse injuries.
   * Thirty percent had been temporarily or permanently disabled from injuries due to abuse.[4]