BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — State officials say domestic violence has been plaguing Vermont to the point that shelters designed to take in residents fleeing such dire situations have been forced to turn many away.

With an absence of available beds in shelters statewide, The Burlington Free Press reports (http://bfpne.ws/2cqw11S ) many victims are turning to Vermont's emergency housing system for support.

Under the system, victims receive motel vouchers for up to 84 days that are completely funded by the state. Vermont paid $1.6 million to house domestic violence victims in motel rooms last year.

Domestic violence shelters across Vermont took in a total of 773 people in 2015.

Vermont Department for Children and Families officials say the state paid to house 824 adults and 834 children fleeing domestic violence during the most recent fiscal year.

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Information from: The Burlington Free Press, http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com

[STORY BY: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS]