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COVID-19 stress could trigger increase in domestic violence

Posted at 6:44 AM, Mar 24, 2020

PHOENIX — Between job losses and kids being out of school, all of the change surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak can be a trigger for stress. This can cause a troubling ripple-effect including incidents of domestic violence.

The Arizona Coalition to End Sexual & Domestic Violence says it’s already seeing about a 10% increase in calls to the helpline. By the month's end, it expects to respond to at least 138 calls. The average per month is about 120 calls.

Even if there is a dip in numbers, ACESDV says that could be indicative of people assuming everything is closed due to the pandemic. However, the organization is protecting its own workers through telecommuting, and has canceled trainings and events, but their services are still running.

The helpline is being answered and all of their statewide partners who provide shelter and resources to survivors are open.

Dr. Tasha Menaker is also calling on the community to be more aware of the difference between someone isolating for their health and being cut off from contact because of violence in the home.

"It's important at this time for loved ones, friends, neighbors and the community to be mindful and watchful if they're seeing anything they're concerned about... and make sure they're reaching out if they feel like someone may be harmed at home and letting them know there are resources available,” said Dr. Menaker.

If you or someone you know needs help, call 602-279-2980, or you can message a support worker via the website and they’re able to respond in English and Spanish.

Another way to take action is to donate supplies that support programs that help survivors. Many have had trouble getting access to wipes, diapers, paper towels and other essential items. You'll find a links to programs taking donations on the ACESDV website.