The Daytona Beach News-Journal recently reported that
domestic violence cases increased across Volusia County over the previous four years although incidents
in Flagler and the overall state of Florida ultimately declined. Experts
in the field are now searching for answers behind the statistics, but
will they find anything conclusive?
According to the article, “Florida statute defines domestic violence
as any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual
assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false
imprisonment or criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death
of one family or household member, by another family or household member.”
Victim advocates are finding it difficult to identify why the trend increased
from 2010 to 2013, but some are quick to point out that Volusia is one
of the more impoverished counties statewide. According to research, many
substandard socio-economic conditions contribute to domestic violence
Of course, this isn’t the tell-all explanation for domestic violence
incidents — a history of family violence has strongly illustrated
that these incidents occur in cycles. Behavior can be learned from one
generation to another, meaning that a child who witnesses domestic abuse
during their adolescence has a significantly higher chance of modeling
those actions in later life.
Many domestic violence experts would be quick to tell you how difficult
it is to prevent these incidents from occurring altogether. More and more,
it seems that increased education ultimately holds the key — taking
proactive measures with young adult populations can go a long way in terms
of driving down statistics of domestic violence. Some experts believe
reaching children is the most critical measure in terms of breaking the
cycle of abuse.
Reports indicate that the majority of cases of domestic violence occurring
in Volusia County are cases pertaining to the Sheriff’s Office and
Daytona Beach police. To end the year, officers from Daytona Beach have
responded to more calls on domestic violence than previously in 2013 —
even with weeks to spare.