Domestic violence on the rise in Lane County, deputies say

Since Sept. 1, deputies have responded to over 250 domestic violence calls throughout Lane County.

Posted: Oct 6, 2021 7:08 PM
Updated: Oct 6, 2021 7:22 PM

MARCOLA, Ore. -- Law enforcement agencies want you to know where to get help if you are the victim of domestic violence.

This follows a disturbing incident north of Marcola where an alleged domestic violence victim turned the tables on a man, sending him to the hospital.


Deputies say Jess Yoakum was strangling the woman and threatened her with a baseball bat. That's when she grabbed a gun and shot him in the shoulder. Yoakum is charged with multiple crimes, including assault and strangulation.

The Lane County Sherriff's Office told KEZI these types of incidents are becoming all too common, especially as the pandemic wears on.

Deputy Tom Speldrich said it's sad to see, but often women don't come forward because of mental manipulation.

"What needs to be recognized is if that is taking place, it's not going to get better on its own," Speldrich said. "It's only going to get worse, and it's going to get more dangerous, and it's going to get harder to break the cycle the longer you wait. "

Speldrich said since Sept. 1, they've responded to more than 250 domestic violence calls throughout Lane County.

He said it's very important to know your resources.

"If you are being abused at home, go out on a limb to better yourself, to save yourself, to save your family members. There is help and laws that allow us to intervene," Speldrich said.

Speldrich wants to remind the community about the Oregon Abuse Prevention Act. He said if law enforcement responds to a domestic violence incident and somebody is hurt, the person that hurt them -- if they were an aggressor -- will go to jail.

"My advice is don't let it get to that level; if you are sober, go for a drive, do something other than continue to escalate the fight," Speldrich said.

If you or anyone you know is a victim of domestic violence, a local resource is Hope and Safety Alliance (fka Womenspace) in Eugene. You can also contact the State of Oregon domestic violence victim services at 1-888-235-5333 for referrals to other local programs.

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