More than 2,200 new and returning clients have visited the non-profit between March and August this year, compared to 1,076 during the same period last year.

Story by: Giacomo Luca

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento Regional Family Justice Center (SRFJC) is reporting a dramatic increase in the number of people facing domestic violence and requesting their services.

The non-profit center provides resources to victims of domestic violence, elder abuse, human trafficking, sexual assault, and child abuse.

More than 2,200 new and returning clients have visited the SRFJC between March and August this year, compared to 1,076 during the same period last year, the center reports.

Faith Whitmore is the CEO of the center. She says the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the issue of domestic violence.

“A lot of the reason is because of the stresses of staying at home,” Whitmore said.

Many people have lost their jobs, children are doing classes from home, and families are being stressed financially – All are factors that Whitmore attributes to the surge in the number of cases her center is seeing. She also explains that many of the partner agencies in the area are not operating and are referring new clients to their agency.

With many children now out of a physical classroom, Mike Mason, program manager for the non-profit organization Kids First, says child abuse cases are likely going underreported.

“We all knew there are some kids, the school was their safe place,” Mason said. “It was a haven for them. Now they’re in an abusive household under the worst circumstances their caretakers or their parents are perhaps now more stressed due to the coronavirus climate.”

Whitmore said you can look for signs that someone may be a victim of domestic violence. There are sometimes physical signs such as bruises or scratches and a person may wear long clothes even when it’s warm to cover them, Whitmore said. A person may also become distant or stop showing up for work.

If you suspect someone is a victim, you may want to speak with them to let them know there are resources available. If you believe there is a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

Click here to read the original story.