Police seeing increase in domestic violence in heat of summer

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- As temperatures continue to climb across the state this week, some Piedmont agencies and nonprofits are also seeing a rise in reports of domestic violence.

"This time of year, it's not uncommon for domestic violence shelters to be completely full," said Catherine Johnson, director of the Guilford County Family Justice Center, which offers victims support.

She says the warmer it gets outside, the more people come in for help.

"For us, June of 2017 was the biggest month we've had," she said.

The justice center usually serves an average of 500 people per month.

But in June, it served about 650 victims.

About 425 have already been served during July.

"We've certainly seen demand for our services rise as the temperatures have risen," Johnson said.

Christine Watkins with Family Service of the Piedmont is seeing the same thing.

"We see an uptick in the number of domestic violence protective orders that we're filing,” Watkins said. “We see people calling on our crisis line."

Watkins says although domestic violence happens year-round, summer months are often worse.

"People are inside together, kids are home from school,” Watkins said. “People may drink a little more."

Greensboro police are already averaging 186 reports of domestic violence and aggravated assaults per month this summer compared to 161 per month last summer.

Some agencies even make sure they're extra staffed by the spring.

"Services are available all times of the year but especially during the summer," Watkins said. ​