Utica, NY (WIBX) - Utica police says there is an increase in reported domestic violence. Last month, the UPD responded to 370 cases. That's nearly double the amount from 2008.

The UPD says they have assigned an officer, Investigator Elizabeth Shanley, to work daily with a YWCA advocate to help victims of domestic violence. Rosemary Vanero, YWCA Mohawk Valley non-residential Crisis Service Director, says she's seeing an increase as well. "One of the things that I did was I went and looked at our numbers from January to April of this year and we already opened 168 new cases--people that we've never worked with before," she said.

Vanero says another alarming part of the figures is that domestic violence is increasing despite tougher penalties for the crime. "The police departments have been given more tools in order to prevent, or to assist the victim whose being abused by a batterer ... as well as, we're here 24-hours a day and we are in these locations such as an advocate whose at the police department who is looking through these domestic incident reports and making contact, or at least trying to make contact with the victim to see what services we can provide them."

Vanero also works closely with child protective services advocates. "If there's a child abuse report along with this domestic incident--how do we help the non-ascending parent realize that this abuse that's happening, even though it may be only happening between the two adults, is affecting the child or the children?" She says family court advocates can also assist victims of domestic violence get an order of protection. "And asking that court to assist you in getting this offender to understand that this abuse has to stop," she said.

For more information or assistance call the YWCA Mohawk Valley Domestic Violence hotline at:

Oneida County: (315) 797-7740

Herkimer County: (315) 866-4120

The figures released by UPD:

  • 2012: 370
  • 2011: 308
  • 2010: 351
  • 2009: 325
  • 2008: 273

Story By WIBX intern, Rachel Bolton and edited by Jeanette Lenoir.