DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A newly-released report from the Durham Police Department shows violent crimes and property crimes decreased last year compared to 2021.
“It’s heartwarming,” said Shining Light in Darkness Executive Director Ed Dudley. “I’m glad to see things happen. But then on the other side of the coin, we have certain crimes that seem like they’re going up.”
In 2022, homicides were down over 8 percent to 45 total. But rape saw almost an 11 percent increase.
Shining Light in Darkness is a local nonprofit that aims to be a trusted partner for victims and survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Dudley believes not all crimes are reported by victims.
“If we had a society that was reporting all of these crimes, I’m pretty sure the statistics would cause all of us to faint,” he said.
Dudley says your voice has power.
“I personally believe that we should start educating our children in middle school about what is sexual assault, what is consent,” he said.
According to the 4th quarter report, aggravated assault in Durham was down almost 19 percent in 2022.
Nisha Williams is a legal director for the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
“What we may be seeing from that decrease in assault is that people may be able to access resources and help from folks when they’re in need,” she said.
Williams says more attention needs to be called to resources like the Durham Crisis Response Center.
“When it comes to supporting survivors of domestic violence, we need to meet them where they’re at presently and support them,” she said. “Help them as they decide, and let them decide when they want to leave their relationship.”
While advocates say the latest numbers are encouraging they said more is needed.
“We need men, real men, to stand up and say ‘you know what? enough is enough’,’” Dudley said. “’I’m here to make change.’”