Demand for abuse services jumps in Sacramento area

In yet another sign of tough economic times, hotlines and shelters that serve battered women in Sacramento and across the country are reporting sharp increases in demand.

Requests for beds in safe houses and calls to crisis lines are on the rise in the capital city and elsewhere as families succumb to the stresses of job losses, foreclosures and evictions and other financial concerns, agency administrators say.

"Callers are telling us that changes in their financial situation are adding up to domestic violence," said Retha Fielding, a spokeswoman for the National Domestic Violence Hotline. The crisis line took 18 percent more calls through September of this year compared with the same period last year, and things have yet to slow down, Fielding said.

The agency got 20 percent more calls from Californians, she said. "We typically don't see these kinds of jumps."

Sacramento police and sheriff's spokesmen said the departments have not noted a significant increase in domestic violence calls. In fact, such calls within the city limits have dropped since last year, said police Sgt. Matt Young.

Read the complete story at