D.C. providers were unable to meet 77 requests for services from domestic violence victims on a single day in September 2014, according to a newly released count.
Of the unmet requests, which increased by 48 percent between 2013 and 2014, 28 were for housing. The other most-requested services, according to the report from the National Network to End Domestic Violence, were for “rental assistance and help with utilities.”
On that day, Sept. 10, 243 children and 256 adults affected by domestic violence were in emergency shelters or transitional housing provided by ten of D.C.’s domestic violence programs (ten of D.C.’s 12 domestic violence programs participated in the count). An additional 348 adults and children received other help, and 75 hotline calls were answered.
Addressing a spike in violent crimes at a recent press conference, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier attributed some of the rise in homicides to domestic violence, a trend that began last year. Police say a recent quadruple stabbing that left 64-year-old Santos Ventura dead was a domestic violence incident.
“Each week at the Housing Resource Clinic, [District Alliance for Safe Housing] advocates work with dozens of survivors in an attempt to provide them with safe housing access,” DASH Executive Director Peg Hacskaylo said in a blog post. “Some families however, are forced to wait for months in dangerous situations because domestic violence shelters in the District are constantly at capacity. This report shows us what we already know—there are not enough options for survivors in D.C., we need to be doing more.”