Two Nez Perce County elected officials are sounding the alarm, asking people to be aware of an increase in domestic abuse and suicide incidents, and to seek help if they see the signs. Prosecutor Justin Coleman and Coroner Josh Hall said their workloads increased significantly in 2020. Coleman’s office saw a 26 percent increase in domestic battery and domestic abuse cases in 2020 over the three previous years, according to a news release. There were 71 cases in 2020, while 2017, 2018 and 2019 had an average of 56 cases per year. Hall’s office recorded a 32 percent increase in suicides from a three-year average of 10 to 14.
A news release from the officials said the coronavirus pandemic has added stress on many individuals because of isolation, family troubles or financial issues. Hall said people who are worried that a loved one may be considering suicide should call 911. Resources for those in need include the domestic violence crisis hotline at (800) 669-3176 and the suicide crisis hotline at (800) 273-8255. (Lewiston Tribune)