SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Police Department is sharing warnings, resources and services during National Domestic Abuse Violence Awareness Month.
In 2020, Springfield officers were called to more than 8,700 calls for domestic abuse or domestic incidents involving a weapon, an average of 23 calls per day. This year, officers have been called to more than 6,500 domestic violence calls.
“There is zero tolerance for domestic violence in Springfield, and there is always help available to those who need it. We are here to provide whatever kind of assistance or resources we can to support women and men who are victims and survivors of domestic violence,” Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood said. “I encourage anyone who believes they may be a victim or knows someone who may be a victim to reach out to our advocates and the other resources in our area that are available.”
Signs of domestic abuse include:
- Constant criticism of the victim and their abilities as a spouse or partner, parent or employee
- Overprotectiveness or extreme jealousy
- Threatening harm to the victim, or their children, pets, family members, friends or themselves
- Sudden anger
- Destruction of personal property such as personal papers and memorabilia
- Intimidation or manipulation tactics
- Physical violence such as hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, shoving, etc.
- Preventing the victim from going where they want to when they want to
- Forcing or coercing the victim into sex that makes them feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or ashamed
- Humiliating or embarrassing the victim in front of others
- Trauma can be caused by acts of violence. Traumatic events threaten our sense of safety. Domestic Violence doesn’t just affect you it affects your children and family
- An abusive partner may frequently deny or reduce the seriousness of violence in their relationship
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno states, “I am proud to stand with and support Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood, our domestic violence advocates and the brave and dedicated men and women in blue as we continue to offer whatever assistance and resources that are needed to support victims and survivors of domestic violence. Domestic violence is a serious issue and it is important to help bring awareness to the resources and services that are available. Our Springfield Police Department has a dedicated staff of domestic violence advocates to provide help and support to victims and I want to encourage everyone to share this vital and potentially life-saving information, and help educate and bring awareness as we recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month in our community.”
The Springfield Police Department has a domestic violence team available 24/7. For more specific incidents, you can call the following people:
- In an emergency, call 911.
- SPD Domestic Violence Coordinator Milta Vargas: 413-735-1519
- Senior Domestic Violence Advocate Jennifer Rivera: 413-735-1520, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Domestic Violence Advocate Sabrina Lopez: 413-735-1510, Monday-Friday, 4 p.m. to midnight
There are several local and national programs and services available to people involved in domestic abuse:
- Safety Planning and Risk Assessment
- Referrals to Community Services
- 209A Rights and Options
- Following up with Victims
- Facilitating Court Appearances
- YWCA ARCH (Abuse & Rape Crisis Hotline), Springfield: 413-733-7100
- Women’s Shelter/Companeras, Holyoke: 413-536-1628
- Safe Passage, Northampton: 413-586-5066
- For anonymous, confidential help available 24/7, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224. If you’re unable to speak safely, text START to 88788 or use the online chat option
- Department of Children and Families: 800-792-5200
- SafeLink is Massachusetts’ statewide 24/7 toll-free, multilingual hotline and a resource for anyone affected by domestic violence. SafeLink’s 24-hour hotline is available by calling 877-785-2020.
- Dr. Richard Zalowski, Clinical & Support Options, 130 Maple Street, Springfield: 413-737-9544
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says more than 10 million people in the United States experience physical abuse by a partner ever year. One in three woman and one in four men have experienced some form of physical abuse in a relationship.