Domestic abuse on the rise in Rexburg

Domestic-Abuseai-EditStory by Sam Dalton, @_SamDalton

Domestic battery cases are on the rise in Rexburg, and BYU-Idaho students are part of the problem.

“We are finding, and it’s obvious through our reports, that BYU-Idaho students are where the batteries occur,” said Capt. Randy Lewis, police chief of the Rexburg City Police Department.

Lewis said cases of domestic abuse or batter have been consistently happening in Rexburg. Every week, the police department responds to at least one or two cases, some of which involve BYU-Idaho students.

It is considered battery when an individual uses force, violence, unlawful touching, striking or intentionally causing bodily harm to an individual against their will, according to the State of Idaho Legislature Web page.

“Part of that is they’re getting married too young; they’re having children too young,” Lewis said. “They have all these burdens on them — paying back school loans, trying to feed the family and going to school ­­— which creates such stress on them, they crack.”

There is no single factor that can be attributed to the cause of domestic abuse. Society’s attitudes, community responses, the individual psychology or the abusers desire for control or power can all contribute to the cause of domestic abuse, according to

Lewis said an arrest was made Wednesday, Jan. 27, of a student who hit his wife several times and damaged  their apartment.

“It’s kind of surprising,” said Kylee Bywater, a junior studying elementary education. “At the same time, I think people here get married really fast so they don’t really find out that’s how one person deals with their anger before they get married.”

When any individual in a relationship is forced to change their behavior out of fear of their partner’s reaction, they are being abused, according to the Refuge Web page.

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When any member in a household commits domestic battery, as defined previously, and it causes serious or traumatic injury to the victim, they could be found guilty of felony, according to the State of Idaho Legislature Web page.

If convicted of such an offense, the perpetrator could face imprisonment in a state prison for up to 10 years, be fined up to $10,000 or both.

Nick Rammell, associate dean of students, said the Dean of Students Office is a safe place for students to come to deal with campus issues that may come from abuse cases.

“They may want to pull out of school, or they may have a safety concern, or it might be late in the semester and the wait list at the counseling center is really long,” Rammell said. “We can connect them with a counselor in the community. The university is trying to do better at spreading information and alerting students to resources on campus.”

Rammell said the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are clear. There is no tolerance for any form of domestic violence or abuse of any kind. BYU-I takes the same stance. When there are cases of violence or abuse, it is taken seriously. The university wants to serve the students as best it can.

Riley Bywater, the husband of Kylee Bywater and a freshman majoring in general studies, said when he and his wife have a disagreement, they never resort to violence. They follow the council given in “Strengthening Marriage” that the Church published. They will also go to other sides of the house until they have both cooled down.

'Domestic abuse on the rise in Rexburg' have 7 comments

  1. February 9, 2016 @ 4:22 pm Hank

    If anyone is looking for additional resources for help, a campaign was put together last semester to help those involved in domestic violence. Our team saw this article in the scroll newspaper and wanted to provide further insight.
    Here’s our website:
    Thank you for running this article! Way to be a hero.


  2. February 12, 2016 @ 10:13 pm Not HANK

    This piece would be more effective if it was edited a bit before going out to the general public. This reads like it was written by my basic comp. classmates from 2 years ago. paragraphs are small and they repeat previous information. Please can we stop making Idahoans look so bad with writing like this?


    • February 13, 2016 @ 1:12 pm De

      You need to stop being an arrogant prick and not critique the way something is written!!!.The article was about abuse, and believe me when I say that people will not be so judgemental of the words on the page but intent of the subject matter. Your arrogance and self righteousness speaks volumes about the kind of man you are😡


      • March 1, 2016 @ 5:11 pm de DE

        Actually he’s right. When reading a NEWS article, people expect a certain level of professionalism. Something you obviously know nothing about “DE”


      • March 15, 2017 @ 7:34 pm Beth

        Its a little hard to concentrate on what is being written if you can’t understand what they are saying. They are on a university level newspaper, most of them hoping to become news editors and writers for bigger papers at some point. They need to learn to edit.


  3. February 13, 2016 @ 10:38 am Ken

    “We are finding, and it’s obvious through our reports, that BYU-Idaho students are where the batteries occur,” said Capt. Randy Lewis, police chief of the Rexburg City Police Department.”

    Captain Lewis cannot also be the chief unless he is serving on an interim basis. Otherwise, he is either a captain, or he’s the chief: he cannot be both. I don’t like sloppy journalism, even from students. Domestic violence may well be a problem at BYU-I, but if your newspaper cannot be bothered to get the little things (such as a source’s proper position) correct, how can I trust it to get the big things right?


    • February 16, 2016 @ 9:32 am Geno

      “Otherwise, he is either a captain, or he’s the chief: he cannot be both.”

      Poor (actually, incorrect) use of the colon there, bro. You should be sure to edit yourself before posting holier-than-thou comments.


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