Domestic violence down in Fresno, but troubling new trend is emerging

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Fresno Police says arresting domestic violence suspects quickly has had a significant impact on reducing violent crime. (Shutterstock)

As soon as Fresno Police receive a domestic violence call, the clock starts ticking. Chief Jerry Dyer says his officers have just hours to find the suspect before that violence could escalate.

"There's a high likelihood he's going to return and not only create some type of injury to that victim but often times that injury gets more serious to the point of death," said Dyer.

The police department has spared no resources this year. The names of top wanted suspects are entered into a computer daily, and there are weekly operations. All the work has yielded success. So far in 2018, the department has seen zero domestic violence homicides, compared to six from 2017.

"The faster we get people into custody, the safer our victims are going to be, and that's been our department priority this year," said Dyer.

Advocates at the Marjaree Mason Center are attacking the problem from another front: they are seeing dating violence surge among teenagers.

"Violence is a learned behavior, so it makes perfect sense that although one in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic violence, right now one in three teens are experiencing teen dating violence," said Nicole Linder, the executive director of the Marjaree Mason Center.

The organization has placed advocates in 16 Fresno County high schools. The goal is teaching what healthy relationships look like.

"Is sending you 100 text messages a day, is that sweet and romantic? Is that somebody that just really adores you and cares about you or is that somebody who is really concerned about your whereabouts, who you are with?" said Linder.

Advocates say abusive relationships don't develop overnight. They begin with small controlling behaviors.

If you or somebody you know needs help or assistance, the Marjaree Mason Center provides a 24-hour crisis hotline that you can reach at 559-233-HELP. The shelter offers counseling, legal aid, and safe houses. More information is available at mmcenter.org

Below are other domestic violence hotlines you can call:
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    (800) 799-SAFE (7233)

  • Rape Counseling Service & Hotline
    (559) 222-RAPE (7273)

  • Carmen Meza Center in Kerman
    (559) 659-0232
    Hotline: (559) 222-7273

  • Central California Legal Services, Inc.
    2115 Kern Street, Suite 1
    Fresno, CA 93721
    (559) 570-1200

  • Centro La Familia Advocacy
    2014 Tulare, Suite 717
    Fresno, CA 93721
    (559) 237-2961
Related Topics:
domestic violencecrimefresno police departmentmarjaree mason centerFresno
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