Bridgeport, CT – With stay-at-home restrictions in place, the coronavirus has triggered a rise in domestic abuse throughout Connecticut. Individuals and families are now faced with choosing between health risks associated with the coronavirus or staying at home with an abusive partner. The Center for Family Justice (CFJ), which provides crisis and support service to victims of domestic and sexual abuse in six local communities, is working tirelessly to keep vulnerable residents safe during the coronavirus. CFJ recently partnered with Bank of America to ensure its services are still available to victims of abuse.

“Having Bank of America’s support at this critical time is a game changer for us as we strive to meet the growing and unprecedented needs of individuals and families experiencing what amounts to a second pandemic of trauma and abuse,” said Deborah A. Greenwood, President & CEO of The Center for Family Justice. “We are incredibly grateful to Bank of America for its incredible generosity.”

Since Gov. Ned Lamont announced social distancing guidelines in March, Greenwood noted domestic violence crimes are on the rise throughout the state while rates for most other crimes have declined significantly. Meanwhile, the Safe Connect program run by the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV), noted a 54 percent increase in calls to its domestic violence hotlines throughout the state in April.

CFJ’s Kathie’s Place safe house, a 2019 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders awardee, is at capacity and has been throughout the pandemic. “We have kept Kathie’s Place fully-staffed and operational as it is critical that victims have a safe place to go with their families,” explained Greenwood. “At the height of this health crisis, we were able to move a family escaping domestic violence into the safe house through the extraordinary efforts of our staff. Because of the support of Bank of America, we are able to continue to provide safety and protection to victims and their families.”

“Supporting our most vulnerable communities during the coronavirus is imperative, which is why Bank of America has committed local grants to non-profits throughout Connecticut,” said Bill Tommins, Southern Connecticut Market President for Bank of America. “With the unfortunate rise in domestic abuse, the bank’s partnership with the Center for Family Justice is vital to residents in need. We thank CFJ for being a strong advocate and safe harbor for domestic abuse victims.”

If you or a loved one are experiencing domestic or sexual violence and need help, call the Domestic Abuse hotline at 203.384.9559 or the Sexual Abuse Hotline at 203.333.2233.

About The Center for Family Justice: 

CFJ provides crisis and supportive services to victims of domestic and sexual violence and child abuse in the communities of Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull.

Last year, CFJ provided these services to almost 5,000 adults and children from its service area.

The free, confidential help and services CFJ offers to all of its clients include:

  • Kathie’s Place, a 15-bed safe house, which offers shelter for victims leaving abusive relationships. (For the past three years, this safe house has been full on an almost daily basis.)
  • Short-term counseling for victims as well as support groups for more long-term help.
  • 24-hour crisis hotlines
  • Safety-planning for victims in abusive intimate partner or domestic relationships.
  • A court-based team that supports victims whose abusers are engaged with the criminal justice system.
  • Attorneys who assist with the many complex legal needs our clients face including divorces, child custody issues, restraining orders, immigration issues and housing matters.
  • A network of community partners, including law enforcement professionals, who work on-site at our headquarters.
  • Camp HOPE America-Connecticut, a summer camp and year-long mentoring program for young people who have experienced the trauma of domestic or sexual violence.
  • Services inclusive of LBGTQ victims and survivors.
  • A specialized team which works with children impacted by extreme abuse and trauma and coordinates forensic interviews for court hearings.
  • Our Rise & Thrive Self-Sufficiency programs which help our clients lead independent lives.
  • Campus Advocates who offer the same kind of help we offer at our Bridgeport headquarters to students on local college and university campuses.
  • Education programs focused on understanding and preventing the generational cycles of domestic and sexual violence.

About Bank of America:

At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at www.about.bankofamerica.com, and also connect on Twitter (@BofA_News).

Bank of America has delivered more than $2 billion in philanthropic investments since 2009, with approximately $250 million in 2019 alone. In April 2019, the company announced a $5 billion Bank of America Community Homeownership Commitment™ to benefit low- and moderate-income homebuyers and communities across the U.S. over the next five years. Also in 2019, Bank of America Community Development Banking provided a record $4.88 billion in loans, tax credit equity investments and other real estate development solutions. Between 2005 and 2019, Bank of America financed 202,800 affordable housing units. To meet the unique needs of its 12 million small business owners, the company provides advice, solutions and dedicated support. Bank of America maintained its position as the nation’s top small business lender at the end of 2019, with $38.9 billion in total outstanding small business loan balances (defined as business loans in original amounts of $1 million and under), up 7% year over year.

For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, visit the Bank of America newsroom and register for news email alerts.

Click here to read the original story.