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Domestic violence tied to poor economy, experts say

Domestic violence tied to poor economy, experts say

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SALT LAKE CITY -- More women are seeking help for domestic violence and staying longer at shelters. Experts say the struggling economy is a factor.

Domestic violence experts say the most disturbing trend is that women are being injured far more frequently now.

Ann Penrod, executive program director at the New Hope Crisis Center in Box Elder County tells the Standard-Examiner traditionally 15 to 20 percent of women it sees were physically injured. In 2009, it was 48 percent. Twelve percent needed medical attention and 3 percent were hospitalized.

Kay Card, executive director at the Safe Harbor shelter in Davis County, tells the paper women who use the shelter are staying longer than in the past.

Experts say the poor economy plays a factor in two ways. Women stay in abusive relationships longer because they have nowhere to go nor any resources of their own, Penrod says. And, it's simply harder to find jobs and homes for women who are staying at a shelter.

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