LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Domestic violence reports have increased in Los Angeles since stay-at-home orders were put into effect, according to a group of UCLA-led researchers.

The scholars behind the interpretation of the crime data say that it’s likely these incidents will decrease as people begin heading back to work and school but that if a second wave of COVID-19 were to hit and spawn new orders to remain at home, numbers could spike again.

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“Shelter-in-place rules, by mandating more time at home, are very likely to increase the volume of domestic or intimate partner violence, which thrives behind closed doors,” said the study’s senior author, Jeffrey Brantingham, a UCLA professor of anthropology.

The team of researchers looking into domestic violence-related calls to police say that those types of reports are among the least-reported crimes, but numbers still jumped.

By comparison, researchers looked at other crime data during the period before and during the pandemic.

Burglaries and robberies have decreased significantly in Los Angeles and vehicle thefts were moderately higher.

Researchers say that looking into crime patterns could provide insight into whether people are following physical distancing recommendations and may inform the enforcement of such orders.

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The scholars involved in this study specialize in math, computer science, criminology, law, public policy and other related fields.

Their study was published in the Journal of Criminal Justice.

L.A. County District Attorney  Jackie Lahey and L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer launched the Behind Closed Doors public safety campaign last month to provide resources to victims of domestic abuse.

“What goes on behind closed doors can remain invisible and sometimes be deadly,” Feuer said. “I’m alarmed at what appears to be a dramatic decline in reporting of crimes against our kids, our seniors, and individuals in abusive relationships. We’re launching our ‘Behind Closed Doors’ campaign, and partnering with our grocers and school district, to alert delivery personnel, home repair workers, neighbors, family and friends to immediately text or call 911 if you believe someone needs help.”

Getting help

If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

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For 24/7 support, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 for TTY. If you’re unable to speak safely, you can visit thehotline.org or text “LOVEIS” to 22522.