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Sex Crimes Up, Domestic Violence Numbers Down in Pasco

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office highlighted early crime stats and let people know about an upcoming fundraiser benefiting county domestic violence and sexual assault shelters.

The number of domestic violence crimes reported to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office in 2012 fell 2 percent below the number of domestic violence crimes reported to the agency in 2011, according to preliminary numbers from the agency.

Don’t start cheering quite yet.

Here’s the bad news: The number of forcible sex offenses that were reported to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office in 2012 rose to 38.2 percent above the number of forcible sex offenses reported to the agency in 2011.

The total number of forcible sex crimes reported to the agency in 2012 was 188, 52 more than was reported in 2011.

Offenses reported as part of the forcible sex crime statistic include rapes committed, rapes attempted, forcible sodomy and forcible fondling. 

Officials largely credited the higher numbers to a rise in reports of forcible fondling. There were 66 fondling cases reported to the Sheriff’s Office in 2012. That’s 50 more than were reported in 2011.

Some cases may have occurred before 2012 but just were reported that year. 

The statistics are Pasco’s preliminary Uniform Crime Report numbers and will be verified by the state.

The Sheriff’s Office presented the statistics at a Tuesday press conference letting folks know about a roller skating fundraiser for domestic violence shelters in Pasco County.

“There’s been a definite uptick in the last couple years in the last couple years in the number of individuals who are coming into shelter to the point where we’re actually going to be adding more beds," said Penny Morrill, chief executive officer of Sunrise of Pasco, a shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

They plan to increase the number of beds at the shelter from 24 to 40.

“As it is, we’re overcrowded all the time,” she said.

Lynn Needs, director of the Salvation Army’s domestic violence shelter in Hudson, says the organization served “over 340 women and children coming in to our shelter” over the last year, she said.

Both Sunrise and the Salvation shelters are free services, Needs pointed out.

The biggest need is money to pay bills, Needs said. That includes costs for electricity, formula and food. The Salvation Army has 32 beds.

Staff costs also have  to be considered, Morrill said. 

“Our staff hasn’t had a raise in seven years,” she said. “Fortunately, they’re dedicated and they’ve stayed, but that’s a tough row to hoe.”

Skating Fundraiser for Pasco’s Domestic Violence Shelters

When: Thurs., Feb. 28, 6-9 p.m.

Where: SpinNations Skating Center, 8345 Congress St., Port Richey

Cost: $8 per ticket. Tickets include 4-wheel skates. Inline skates cost extra.

Net proceeds donated to domestic violence shelters in Pasco.

Cheri Anderson February 14, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Gee Pasco could it be because of all the unGentlemens clubs you allow? Duh! Its an embarassment to hear that Pasco is known for them from people in other counties. Shame on the sherif,f they shut down internet cafe's that only give the older people a place to have innocent fun and they do nothing about the places that promote sex, drugs and violence. Not too smart.
Carole February 14, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Domestic violence is down but there is an uptick in number of women going to shelters?!! What am I missing or what is wrong with this article?
Alex Tiegen February 14, 2013 at 04:37 PM
Carole, Domestic violence aid officials credited greater awareness as one reason the shelters are filling up.
Carole February 14, 2013 at 04:43 PM
Thank you, Alex. That does make sense.
Angry February 16, 2013 at 05:56 PM
Yes and the victims ....the women and children are treated as the criminals while the creeps who hurt them walk the streets and the system does not uphold the restraining orders for these women and children either ! and furthermore pasco children and families give the creeps that hurt these women and children more rights than the victims ! Change is needed the judges and caseworkers need to punish the men who commit the violence, help these women and children get the help they need , not go out of there way to perger themselves under oath so they keep revieving money for the kids in the system! I know there are alot of good ones but the others should be investigated and lose their jobs! Stop revictimizing the women and children and put the ones who hurt them behind bars where they belong!!!

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