RCSD: Number of domestic disputes rises as more people stay at home

Some investigators say they've had to adjust their methods to diffuse situations

RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. (WOLO) —With more families staying at home, one issue local law enforcement has been dealing with more often has been disputes between couples.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department says they have received more domestic-related calls over the last few weeks.

Investigator Morris Davis says diffusing domestic disputes during a pandemic has been different.

“It’s hard to have someone leave and go to someone else’s house because they can’t,” Inv. Davis said.

Inv. Davis says his team has encountered more verbal arguments between couples over the last few weeks.

Crystal Freie, a relationship expert, says some of these issues stem from people not having a buffer or outside area to deal with stress from work.

“When they bring it in, you have to set up some boundaries, some ground rules, because if not, that work and that stress will feed over into the home,” Freie said.

Now with a stay-at-home order in place, Inv. Davis and his team have had to adjust their ways to simmer down arguments. Originally, they would send one person to a friend’s house to cool-off, but they now look at options where people can relax without leaving the property.

“So what we try to encourage now is to have them go outside, on the porch, the backyard, a shed, or any place they would feel comfortable other than leaving the premises,” Inv. Davis said.

However, some say spending more time at home doesn’t mean relationships will deteriorate. 

Instead, if both sides work at it, some say staying at home could strengthen how a family comes together.

“We can definitely use this experience to grow our relationships if we look at it from the perspective of, ‘hey, let’s use this opportunity that we’ve got to the best of our ability,” Freie said.

The number for the Domestic Violence Hot Line is (800) 799-7223, and is open to take calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Categories: Local News, News