A study conducted by the Livingston County Health Department shows an increase in reported cases of domestic violence and child neglect or abuse for the first time since 2010. The Health Department completed its Community Health Status Assessment in June of 2015 and has since been releasing volumes of the assessment, each of which focuses on one health issue or group of issues at a time.

Recently released were volumes 10 and 11, which speak to the issue of domestic violence and violent crimes in Livingston County. Reported cases of domestic violence and child abuse or neglect have risen in the county, with domestic violence increasing for the first time since 2010, while child abuse and neglect cases between 2014 and 2015 had the largest increase reported since 2010. Health Promotion Coordinator Chelsea Lantto says it’s unclear whether Livingston County’s numbers are due to an increase in incidents, or if they’re just being reported more frequently. She did, however, praise local domestic violence shelter LACASA for their work in aiding victims.

The Health Department also assessed the number of reported incidents regarding four different types of violent crime: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, aggravated assault, robbery and rape. Despite the lower than average rates of all violent crime compared to the state of Michigan and U.S., Livingston County has a significantly higher proportion of the rape component at 34%, compared to the state at 11% and the country at 8%.

Lantto says the Health Department’s goal in breaking down the 75-page Health Assessment is to provide understanding regarding health trends and what components affect them. Lantto says this is an important role everyone can play, adding, “Knowledge is power”.
You can view the Health Assessment’s full publication at the link below. (DK)