Pima County sees uptick in domestic violence, DUI cases

Pima County sees uptick in domestic violence, DUI cases

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Pima County Attorney's Office has just released the latest number of misdemeanor crimes in Pima County, which show an increase in domestic violence and DUIs.

In 2015, officials handled 20,317 misdemeanor cases.

Of those cases, 14 percent of them were domestic violence related (up from 13.75 percent in 2014) and 13 percent were DUI cases (up from 12.4 percent in 2014).

The rest of the cases were made up of a mixture of less serious offenses, like trespassing or graffiti.

Now Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse officials are speaking out about the uptick.

"It is horrific. It's terrifying for our community to have this huge public safety issue that is largely going unaddressed," said Ed Mercurio-Sakwa, CEO of Emerge!

Every three days, a person dies in Arizona from domestic violence.

"The reality is you are talking about hundreds of thousands of people," Mercurio-Sakwa said. "This isn't a personal, private matter it is a public matter; it is a community issue and we really need a community solution to it."

He said often, perpetrators need help too, and throwing them in jail does not fix the problem.

They need to be educated and informed on how to deal with relationships without violence.

Mercurio-Sakwa said it's possible, but people need to ask for help.

Experts recommend people who need help call the 24-7 Emerge! hotline at 520-795-4266.

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