By Brad Segall

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – Advocates for domestic violence victims are concerned about a recent spike in the number of violent incidents involving intimate partners in the Philadelphia suburbs.

In just the last two weeks, there’s been a double homicide in Bucks County involving two estranged spouses, a murder in Pottstown where the victim’s boyfriend has been arrested and a violent beating in Delaware County.

Experts suspect the weak economy and the increased stress levels it brings may be the spark that’s causing more violence. Maria Macaluso is the Executive Director of the Women’s Center of Montgomery County.

“Lots of times they [women] are choosing to stay in a relationship because financially they can’t afford to leave. They are letting the offender stay in the home when they get a protection order sometimes, and so the frustration level is building, there’s less places to go.”

She says there were nearly 2,000 protection from abuse filings in Montgomery County last year, up from 1,500. But she cautions they are also seeing more dual filings where both parties are seeking an order.

She says calls to their hotline are also revealing more people with access to guns.