Florida has seen a 37 percent increase in the demand for domestic-violence shelters, according to a report to the Legislature by the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence. If it's happening here, I wouldn't be surprised if it was happening in other states.
The Pensacola News Journal suggests some reasons: More people are at home because of layoffs. The recession puts more stress on people. Friends and family members have fewer resources to help victims. Cuts in social services translate into less help. Women stay in shelters longer because it's harder to get a job and move out on their own.
The newspaper quotes Department of Children and Families Secretary George Sheldon: "It's the worst I've seen in years."