“I think that we’ve never experienced a time like this when social distancing is so critical yet we know that comes with great risk,” the Family Justice Center said.
Story by: Jessica Winters
GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Domestic violence organizations in the Triad say isolation is the worst thing in the world for victims of domestic violence.
But unfortunately, with the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home orders, that’s the world we live in today.
“They’re telling people to self isolate and that’s actually a really big concern,” Audrie Sa with Family Service of the Piedmont said.
Catherine Johnson, Director of the Guilford County Family Justice Center says the coronavirus pandemic has created a dangerous environment for victims of domestic violence.
“The concern is great, I think that we’ve never experienced a time like this when social distancing is so critical yet we know that comes with great risk,” Johnson explained.
Abusers are feeling out of control because of job and financial loss, and might take it out on those closest to them, according to Sa.
“When people are stuck around each other 100 percent of the time in close proximity, and you toss substance use and abuse in there it’s a problem.”
High Point Police say domestic-violence calls in March are up 21 percent compared to this same time last year.
And that’s just what we know of, because not every victim goes to law enforcement.
“What goes reported and unreported is really the question, right?” Johnson stated.
Sa says Triad crisis hotlines are seeing approximately double the amount of calls than normal, and shelters are filling up.
“Right now both shelters in Guilford county are actually not taking any clients right now they’re at capacity.”
But she emphasized that is always changing, and it certainly doesn’t mean they can’t help. Organizations like Family Service are working with other counties to make accommodations.
“We’ve been calling around to shelters in neighboring counties.”
Domestic violence agencies have been deemed ‘essential’ business, so you don’t have to worry about a stay-at-home order affecting your access to them.
If you are in immediate danger, please call 911, or Family Service of the Piedmont’s 24 hour Crisis Hotline at (336) 273-7273.
The phone number for the Guilford County Family Justice Center is 336-641-SAFE (7233).
Reach the Greensboro location directly by calling 336-641-2339.
Reach the High Point location directly by calling 336-641-2889.