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Domestic Violence Reports, Arrests Spike In Arlington

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Doorways to Women and Families is a nonprofit that runs Arlington County's hotline.
Michael Pope
Doorways to Women and Families is a nonprofit that runs Arlington County's hotline.

In Virginia, reported instances of domestic violence are on the rise. And one of the areas that's experiencing a sharp increase is Arlington County.

Domestic violence arrests have increased 107 percent in Arlington in the last 18 months -- a trend police officials say reflects increased coordination between county agencies and social-service providers.

"It's really a Catch-22 situation. In one way, you don't want to see the numbers go up because now you know that there's a serious issue with domestic violence. On the other hand, we want to see the numbers go up because people are reporting it," says Captain Michelle Nuneville, commander of Arlington's Third District.

Calls to Arlington's domestic violence hotline have increased 103 percent, an indication that more people are reaching out for help than ever before.

"That's a significant increase for us, but when we look at how much there is going on, domestic violence is still an under-reported crime," says Jo Johnson, coordinator of Arlington County's Project Peace.

Despite the drastic increase, service providers say they would like to see the numbers rise even more to capture all the crimes that have been going on for many years behind closed doors.

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