Domestic violence cases were expected to spike along with the COVID-19 numbers.
But we’re told calls for help in Monroe County actually dropped off at the height of the pandemic.
Women’s Resources of Monroe County started to see an increase in calls as restrictions started but once everything closed down, the calls decreased.
Director of Programs Adrienne Hoeker of Women’s Resources of Monroe County says, "If you’re isolated, but then the person who is your abuser is also there with you, you don’t have that ability to make the call."
As people were being asked to stay home at the end of March to save a life, there was the worry for some people that staying isolated in their own home could be a source of violence. While survivors are in an abusive home, they’re known to find relief in daily routines such as taking the kids to and from school or working. But most of those routines stopped.
Hoeker says, "Domestic violence probably increased as a whole during that time, the ability for people to reach was more difficult."
THat resulted in Women’s Resources of Monroe County seeing a drop in calls at the height of the pandemic. Now officials are starting to see more callers seeking support and services as COVID-19 restrictions lessen. And they expect those calls to increase this Fourth of July weekend.
Hoeker says, "Emotionally charged situations, alcohol and violence tends to increase during holidays like that."
That’s why the nonprofit wants to remind you help is still a phone call away.
Shelter Manager Jenn Dunne of Women's Resources of Monroe County says, "There’s always a counselor you talk to on the hotline. If someone were to need services in person, they can always go to a hospital and a staff person or volunteer will be available to talk with them over the phone and come up with a plan."
Their hotline can also provide you with a place to stay.
Dunne says, "All of our services are available besides in person counseling. Right now our in person counseling is being done over the phone."
The 24 Hour Crisis Hotline can be reached at 570-421-4200 and for more information just go Women’s Resources of Monroe County’s website.