Only 2 domestic calls in Austin on Valentine’s Day

Published 9:41 am Tuesday, February 18, 2014

There were only two domestic violence-related calls in Austin on Valentine’s Day, bucking a national trend showing more domestic violence issues take place around holidays.

“I would not be able to say there was any uptick [in domestic assault calls] on Valentine’s Day,” Austin Police Captain Dave McKichan said.

Various regional and national domestic abuse awareness groups campaign during the month of February to raise awareness about domestic violence. The National Domestic Violence Hotline recognizes February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, and the week of Valentine’s Day is usually signified as Respect Week.

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Though police do hear of many domestic situations — not only between husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, but parent/child, siblings, even roommates — McKichan said historically he hasn’t seen an increase in domestic abuse calls on Feb. 14. More often than not, police are called to help diffuse a situation occurring at home than arrest someone for a crime.

“Mediating disputes between folks does occupy quite a lot of our time,” McKichan said. “Obviously, we do see some of those carry over into situations where we would need to arrest someone for an assault.”