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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

IN domestic violence rates remain at troubling levels

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Monday, October 16, 2023   

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The most recent study from the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence cites a 181% increase in domestic-violence homicides between 2020 and mid-2021 in Indiana.

And 911 call centers reported high call rates in ZIP Codes that were disproportionally affected by the pandemic. The coalition's Homicide Reduction Strategies Coordinator Caryn Burton said these rates can be difficult to track.

"We know that domestic violence is underreported," said Burton. "We know that survivors do not always report what is happening in their home or within their relationship - whether it is to healthcare providers, whether it's to law enforcement, whether it's to family and friends."

She said domestic violence is the second-most underreported crime in the United States, behind only sexual assault.

The National Domestic Violence hotline number is 800-799-7233.

Between July 2022 and June of this year, the coalition reports 78 confirmed homicides resulting from domestic violence in Indiana.

A person threatened by domestic violence can get a restraining or protective order - a court ruling that requires an abuser to stay away - although too often, the abuser ignores it.

For years, court advocates were present to explain what survivors could expect when seeking a restraining order. Burton said the group that provided these advocates in the Marion County court system stopped in 2021.

"When a survivor maybe doesn't receive some safety planning assistance with that protective order, they may remain vulnerable to that escalation of violence," said Burton, "because they haven't really gone through that entire process of understanding, 'Okay, now I've got the protective order, but what does that mean for me?'"

According to this year's Domestic Violence by State report on the website 'wisevoter.com,' almost 43% of women in Indiana experience some form of domestic violence - ranking the state fifth in the nation for domestic violence incidents.



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