Family Violence Unit: Dallas Domestic Violence Arrests Spike

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DALLAS, TX —Domestic violence is striking a nerve with the nation. The NFL is under the spotlight—with a number of its stars now charged in separate cases.  Back at home, the concern is rising.

Lt. Miguel Sarmiento works with domestic cases in the Family Violence Unit with the Dallas Police Department.

“We’ve had 69 offenses filed from the 15th to the 19th [September,]” Sarmiento said.

That's just in one week in september.  What's more Sarmiento says there’s been a spike in domestic violence arrests.

“The last couple of weeks, we’ve had higher arrest numbers, not necessarily that we’ve had more offenses, we’ve just had a lot more people arrested.  The national attention that has come out of the Ray Rice incident, Peterson, and then Dwyer from the Arizona Cardinals may be one of the factors.”

Who knows?  Maybe the spotlight is letting victims know it’s okay to step out and report these crimes. Folks are even taking to social media.

“You’ve seen the hashtag, ‘why I didn’t leave’ [Why I stayed] and hashtag, ‘why I left.’”

Sarmiento says the majority of domestic violence cases he investigates are with couples who are dating. He says education is key in curbing this crime.

“We had a pledge campaign with the mayor’s office where we went to a lot of the football stadiums here in the Dallas area and asked young men to pledge that they wouldn’t hit women.”

His hope is to keep people safe and remind them that there’s help out there....

“When you grow up in some of that environment, you understand the difficulties of some of these ladies. You have to ask yourself that question..Is it worth it? the material struggles you`re going to have versus losing your life?”