The number of cases of domestic and child abuse in the Eindhoven region has increased dramatically over the last few years. This is evident from the statistics requested by Studio040.
There has been a rise of almost 50% of these cases. In 2016, about 3,450 cases were reported in South East Brabant. In 2018, this had spiked to nearly 5,100. These stats are according to Veilig Thuis‘ (Safely Home) figures. This organisation receives all the reports from the 21 regional councils, of which Eindhoven is the largest. Veilig Thuis then works with neighbourhood teams and aid agencies to tackle the problem.
In Eindhoven, from 2017 to 2018, this kind of violence increased by 16% to a total of 1,848 reported cases. Veilig Thuis has seen an increase in violence between domestic partners and violence toward the elderly. According to this organisation’s Director, Judith Kuijpers, there are two leading causes for this increase.
“Residents are more well informed as to where they can lay complaints. Before 2015, people reported cases to various places like the Youth Care Office, doctors, and the police. Now, we receive all these complaints. There is also more awareness of these problems thanks to marketing campaigns.” Kuipers does not think there is a deeper social cause. “This kind of violence is, unfortunately, nothing new.”
Preventing an escalation
Since people are reporting these cases more, Kuijpers thinks an increase can be avoided. “We can now start working with the perpetrators of this violence and try to solve the problems causing it. When you see the signs earlier on, you can deal with the problems better. Worse treatment can be avoided.”
But, according to Kuijper, dealing with domestic violence can be improved in the region. “We see specific cases reoccurring. The cooperation between the involved parties needs to improve. Then we can keep an eye on the situation for a longer time. For example, child abuse – additional discussions need to held with the school, the child, and the parents when some time has passed.”
Although people are reporting cases more often, it is still a big step for the victims. “People are embarrassed. Especially, adults and the elderly do not like to come forward,” concludes Veilig Thuis’ Director.
Disclaimer: This article was made possible by the Stimuleringsfonds voor de Journalistiek. Dtv, Omroep Venlo, Studio040, and WOS Media work together to bring people local investigative journalism.
Translator: Melinda Walraven