Domestic violence is a serious problem in Alabama.
It often remains behind closed doors and may never be reported to police.
The numbers show when people do come forward, Alabama comes close to having nearly 5,000 domestic violence victims a year.
WAAY 31 poured through piles of data about domestic violence in Alabama. Because of different reporting methods, it's difficult to peg Alabama's ranking. But, domestic violence crime is disturbing at any level.
“We help victims of domestic violence through our shelters, through support groups, through our advocates that help them work through the process of healing," Becky Cecil told WAAY 31.
At Crisis Services of North Alabama, she sees lots of hurting because of domestic violence.
"It was one of the highest crimes reported in Alabama," Cecil told us.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency's most recent numbers are from 2016. Out of 25,188 violent offenses, 4,611 had connections to domestic violence. That accounts for 18 percent of Alabama's violent offenses.
The latest state's domestic violence numbers are sobering: 43 homicides and 238 rapes.
78 percent of domestic violence victims were women. And, overwhelmingly, men were the ones committing domestic violence.
That's just what we know for sure. Many victims of domestic violence never report what happens to them.
"There's a lot of reasons,” Cecil explained. “There could be cultural reasons, financial reasons, if my kid is involved, it's a really hard situation. 'Do I leave. Do I take the kids, What do I do?’."
Becky Cecil says this is more than an Alabama problem. Domestic violence goes well beyond any state line.
"I don't know if it necessarily just our state,” she told us. “I think that domestic violence doesn't really discriminate. I think it can happen in any community, anywhere, any race, any gender, any sexuality."
Crisis Services is perhaps better known for its Hope Place shelters in Madison and Morgan counties. You can call its 24/7 crisis helpline at (256) 716-1000.
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