AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Law enforcement officials are reporting a jump in domestic violence assaults by more than 4 and a half percent in the recently released state crime statistics for last year.
But that doesn't necessarily mean that more assaults are occurring. It could be the result of more public awareness surrounding this issue.
Several high profile events, including churches across the state simultaneously ringing their bells in honor of victims and men taking a stand against domestic violence, have increased public awareness of this problem.
That may be a major contributor to the increase in arrests last year. It's tough to say for sure but advocates are hoping the new statistics do not reflect an increase in crimes, but rather an increase in people reporting the crimes.
"We are concerned in some ways that those statistics have gone up almost 5-percent in terms of arrests, but I don't think we really know what the underlying cause of that is. Certainly public awareness", said Julia Colpitts of the Coalition To End Domestic Violence.
Domestic violence hotlines around the state are reporting a significant increase in calls and with those calls come more requests for services. But money for those services is being cut both at the state and federal levels.