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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Domestic violence reports rose by 3% in 2023




By The Star Staff


There were 3% more domestic violence complaints in Puerto Rico in 2023 than in 2022, police said Tuesday.


There were 7,146 complaints in 2022 compared to 7,362 in 2023. About 73.8% of incidents of domestic violence reported in 2023 have resulted in arrests, compared to 68.2% in 2022.


In 2023, 82.2% of victims were female, compared to 83.6% in 2022. About 63.2% of domestic violence victims were between 20 and 39 years old at the time of reporting their cases in 2023, while 61.3% of the offenders belonged to this same age group. Of those, the largest age group, both victims and aggressors, is 25 to 29 years old, which constitutes 18.8% and 18.2%, respectively.


“These data represent the people who decide to seek help through the Police Bureau; they do not necessarily reflect all the existing cases on the island,” Police Commissioner Antonio López Figueroa said. “There may be victims who, instead of reporting [the incident] to the police, chose to resort to the services of the Office of the Women’s Advocate, who have requested protection orders in court. Our call goes out to these people to report domestic violence. Because the mechanisms and aid exist and because no person should experience the ravages of this social evil.”


Police Lt. Aymee Alvarado pointed out that the indicated increase in domestic violence complaints is something that law enforcement authorities consider to be a good sign.


“An increase in complaints does not necessarily mean that there are more cases, but it could be a sign that there are a greater number of victims reporting, that there is more awareness, and that they are trusting the system,” she said. “That is part of what the Gender Violence Emergency Declaration seeks, to increase awareness and with it, prosecution. This, along with other prevention efforts and support for victims, will contribute to addressing domestic violence.”


At the end of 2023, the police regions with the highest rates of reported incidents of domestic violence were Guayama, with 293.2 per 100,000 inhabitants, and Aguadilla, with a rate of 292.2 per 100,000 inhabitants. The Guayama region is made up of Guayama, Salinas, Arroyo and Patillas. The Aguadilla region is made up of six municipalities, Aguadilla, Isabela, San Sebastián, Moca, Aguada and Rincón.


At the end of 2023, the largest number of domestic violence complaints came from the Bayamón police region, which is the island’s largest region in terms of the number of towns and population size. It comprises Bayamón, Vega Baja, Vega Alta, Dorado, Toa Alta, Toa Baja, Cataño, Guaynabo, Naranjito and Corozal. Police recorded a total of 1,023 incidents in that region, which represents a rate of 165.1 reports per 100,000 inhabitants.


San Juan, with its relatively high population density, was the municipality with the highest number of incidents, with a total of 636 reported, and Culebra had the lowest number of reported incidents.

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Madden Wayne
Madden Wayne
May 13

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