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Advocacy groups seeing increase in domestic violence cases

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MARCOLA, Ore. – Local advocacy groups say they're seeing an increase in domestic violence cases. 

According to the World Population Review, more than 37% of domestic violence crimes happen against women in the state of Oregon. 

Just last week, investigators with the Lane County Sheriff's Office responded to the 39000 block of Woods Road in Marcola after they received a call that someone had been shot. They found the 59-year-old victim with a gunshot wound to the neck.

The victim's husband called 911 and allegedly said his wife shot herself. But police said the evidence suggests that Steven Illmann, 57, shot his wife. The victim was taken to a Portland-area hospital. 

MORE:Man accused of shooting wife in the neck near Marcola

Authorities are investigating the shooting as domestic violence. And with this rise in violence, local advocates are speaking out.

Brandi Yanez, the communications coordinator at the Hope and Safety Alliance in downtown Eugene, said weapons are present in a lot of domestic violence situations. 

RELATED:Domestic violence on the rise in Lane County, deputies say

"Access to weapons is part of a lot of the violence that we see, whether that's on our crisis line, or in person, or folks reaching out to us," said Yanez. 

She also said just in the past two years during the COVID-19 pandemic, they have seen a drastic uptick in violence, especially with weapons being involved. 

"We definitely have seen over the past year or two the rate of domestic violence and weapons intersecting raise, especially during this pandemic," said Yanez. 

MORE:Man shot in domestic violence dispute near Marcola

There are different ways someone can get help if they are in a domestically abusive situation. 

Yanez said to call the Hope Safety Alliance crisis hotline. That number is 541-485-6513. She also said there are other resources for those who may not be able to call. 

"We do have a confidential chat that folks can access by going to hopesafetyalliance.org and click the chat now feature on our website and talk to a certified advocate, and really have an intense, thorough safety plan created," said Yanez. 

As far as the situation in the Marcola shooting, Illmann is set to be back in court on Dec. 20. 

The victim's family said she is fighting very hard, but the road to recovery is still very long. 

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