Advocate groups: Domestic calls up 71%, demand for shelters at 151%

Connecticut advocate groups say that domestic violence calls have climbed dramatically since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March.

News 12 Staff

Dec 2, 2020, 11:00 PM

Updated 1,300 days ago

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Connecticut advocate groups say that domestic violence calls have climbed dramatically since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March.
They say that since March, domestic violence calls are up 71% and the demand for shelters is at 151% - way over capacity.
"We see a great need across our state," says Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz.
Victims have been forced to seek out hotels at a cost of $500,000 so far this year.
Advocates say it's a perfect storm of unemployment, parents worried about feeding their families and the stress of teaching children at home. But technology is also helping reach victims.
"They are FaceTiming, they are texting. They are video chatting - whatever it takes to keep connected," says Karen Jarmoc, of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
As Christmas draws closer, advocates expect another big spike.
"Sadly we know that alcohol abuse plays a big role in domestic abuse, and that tends to be on the up during the holidays," says Karen O' Connor, of The Network Against Domestic Abuse.
But, in spite of the challenges, domestic violence services remain free and available anytime.
"Help is available, whether you're in crisis or you just need a gentle voice on the other side of the line," says Suzanne Adam, of the Domestic Violence Crisis Center.
For now, domestic violence victims can file for a restraining order online. State lawmakers may make the change permanent next year.


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