It seems like every time I open my email I have a new press release from law enforcement describing a domestic violence incident in the community. Sometimes multiple incidents are reported in one day. Why is this happening so often? Were these calls always this frequent? How severe are the cases?

According to Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol, the most recent incident happened in the village of Oriskany Falls. Maciol says deputies responded to a residence on North Main Street for a report of a domestic dispute. Officials say a preliminary investigation revealed 43-year-old Joseph Gaudin Junior allegedly choked and slammed the adult victim to the ground, threatening to kill them. Officials say the incident happened in front of a young child.

As a result of the incident, Gaudin Jr. was arrested and charged with Harassment, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Criminal Obstruction of Breathing and Menacing. Maciol says Gaudin Jr. was transported to the Oneida County Law Enforcement Building for processing and was eventually transferred to Oneida County Jail and remanded in lieu of $1,000 bail.

Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol says that while it may be surprising for some, the numbers the last three years have remained constant. The one thing he did say is the nature of the violence on the calls is getting worse and more severe. Maciol tells WIBX,

I attribute the increase of 536 domestic violence calls in 2020 as compared to 2019 directly to the COVID-19 pandemic. We saw most of that spike during the portion of the pandemic in which everything was shut down and many people were basically confined to their homes. The more disturbing thing that I see is that the domestic violence calls we have been dealing with towards the end of 2020 and into 2021 so far are a bit more violent with many of them involving obstruction of breathing charges.

The number of domestic violence or domestic dispute calls answered by law enforcement overall in Oneida County in 2019 was 9,418. In 2020, as the Sheriff mentioned, there was an increase in the number of domestic violence calls to 9,954. So far in 2021, the Sheriff says we are currently on pace to be similar to numbers from the last two years at 4,537 to date. It is important for those being abused to know that there is help out there. If you have any issues with domestic violence you can call the Oneida County hotline at 315-797-7740. In Herkimer County domestic violence victims can call 315-866-0458. You are never alone.

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