BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Domestic violence shelters are full and programs are underfunded, says Lt. Gov.

Sep 18, 2023, 4:39 PM | Updated: Nov 7, 2023, 3:02 pm

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson answers interview questions in her office at the Capitol in Salt Lake Cit...

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson answers interview questions in her office at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023.(Kristin Murphy /Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy /Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — More women are seeking help since a landmark domestic violence law took effect. Victim referrals are on the rise and women’s shelters are filling up.

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson said data from lethality assessments is showing more than just how prevalent domestic violence is.

“So far it’s looking like almost two-thirds of the people who have lethality assessments conducted are at a high risk of being killed,” Henderson said.

Along with this, the Lt. Gov. said Utah’s services are doing great work all throughout the state, but they need more funding.

“The state put in a whole lot of money this last legislative session,” she said. “It was historic, it was wonderful [but] it was not nearly enough.”

Since July 1, police across the state have been mandated to remove high-risk victims to shelters.

However, according to the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, there has been an 83% increase in victim referrals. Because of the sharp increase, many victims are getting turned away.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship there is help available here in Utah and nationwide.

  • YWCA’s Women in Jeopardy program: 801-537-8600
  • Utah statewide Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-897-LINK (5465) and udvc.org
  • 24-hour Salt Lake victim advocate hotline: 801-580-7969
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233

Devin Oldroyd contributed to this story.

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Domestic violence shelters are full and programs are underfunded, says Lt. Gov.