- Associated Press - Thursday, November 12, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A new report from an advocacy group has found that more than 1,700 people who looked for shelter from domestic violence in central Indiana didn’t receive it.

The State of Domestic Violence in Central Indiana report was released Thursday by Indianapolis-based Domestic Violence Network. It shows 1,743 people were denied service from July 2013 to June 2014 because agencies were over capacity and didn’t have available beds.

The number of people denied temporary housing was nearly triple what it was the year before.

Domestic Violence Network executive director Kelly McBride said agencies have fewer resources, and that victims are staying longer because of a lack of affordable housing elsewhere.

Catherine O’Connor, president and CEO of the Julian Center in Indianapolis, said people seeking help shouldn’t be discouraged.

“We triage,” she told The Indianapolis Star (https://indy.st/1OGmLof ). “If someone is in immediate danger, we’ll find a place for that person to be.”

The report found domestic violence agencies sheltered 10,531 people in the time period measured. More than 4,300 were children, 46 were men, and the rest were women.

The Domestic Violence Network released a plan in October 2013 to end domestic violence in central Indiana. The plan included increased awareness and resources.

The group is doing training in schools, businesses and community agencies about the signs of domestic violence, including less obvious means such as jealousy, controlling behavior and animal cruelty.

“So many people think of domestic violence as black eyes and bruises, but it’s so much more than that,” McBride said.

In 2014, there were 20,789 crisis calls related to domestic violence, up 25 percent from 2010, according to the report. Not included in that number are calls to Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s statewide hotline.

O’Connor said calls “just scratch the surface” of domestic violence in the area. She said a continued push is needed for “things that help these folks survive and thrive” such as jobs, housing and transportation.

“We have to get in front of this issue and make sure there are opportunities for the young people in this community to respect themselves,” O’Connor said. “When we respect ourselves better, we are all less vulnerable.”

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Information from: The Indianapolis Star, https://www.indystar.com

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