BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City has seen an increase in domestic violence calls since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. This comes as national statistics show an increase in domestic violence cases as victims are forced to stay at home with their abusers.
The executive director of TurnAround, a crisis response and victim services agency for survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence and human trafficking in Baltimore, says their call volume for services has increased by 300 percent in the last six months compared to the previous six months.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Maryland: Positivity Rate Below 3%, 5.3M Vaccine Doses Administered
The agency has a 24/7 hotline, an emergency shelter for survivors fleeing violence, counseling, court advocacy — all free of charge.
“We noticed in the first week that the number of survivors who are reaching out to us, had dropped significantly,” said TurnAround’s Amanda K. Rodriguez. “We were concerned that folks did not know that we were still open and available.”
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The group says its call volume for emergency shelter is up more than 200 percent, calls are up 138 percent for individuals seeking therapy and those seeking emergency assistance is up by 150 percent.
“We continued and will continue to be there for those who need us. And for Baltimore, if you are a loved one is suffering from abuse or if you have are suffering as a result of the trauma of COVID-19 from previous instances of abuse, we can help,” she said.READ MORE: 3 Dead In Domestic-Related Laurel Shooting, Child Hospitalized
Baltimore Mayor Jack Young said this is something his administration is working to address.
“While it is important to avoid spreading the virus, you are not required to stay at home when home is not safe,” Mayor Young said.
TurnAround’s hotline is at 443-279-0379.
They are also looking for volunteers to bring awareness in their communities or to help.
The group also will help people over social media, if they are afraid to reach out while living with their abuser.MORE NEWS: DC Michelin Star Restaurant Little Pearl Temporarily Closing In Part Due To Cicada Season