Concerns of domestic violence rise during pandemic crisis

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — With so many people staying home right now, that raises concerns over what’s going on behind closed doors. During times of crisis, the concern for domestic violence goes up.

Andrea Stough with the Domestic Violence Shelter and Services in Wilmington says spending all your time in the same place with someone can make it harder for people to escape an unhealthy situation.

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Stough says isolation is a common characteristic in an abusive relationship. With such a high level of isolation right now, she says that can make a situation even worse for the victim.

Right now, she explains people may be cut off from support systems, or people who can help them out of an abusive situation. Under these circumstances, she says people may not know who to reach out to, or how to get help.

“You’re not getting that break from that person,” Stough said. “You’re in the same space as an abusive partner, so you’re also not having a chance to reach out and maybe seek help. You’re not having a chance to get away from the abuse. You’re not having a chance to kind of strategize an escape plan. You’re not connecting with those support systems that might help you leave.”

Stough says their walk-in office is currently closed, but their 24/7 phone line and emergency shelter are both still open. She also says they are still in contact with law enforcement and other community partners during this time.

Find more information on resources offered by the Domestic Violence Shelter and Services here.