Local domestic violence cases on the rise during pandemic

The services of the Women’s and Children’s Alliance in Boise have never been needed more, as cases of domestic violence continue to rise during the pandemic.

“There are 3 metrics we collect every month,” explains Executive Director for the WCA, Bea Black. “And we have seen increases in all three of those. For our domestic violence hotline calls from first quarter 2020 to first quarter 2019 we had a 93 percent increase in just domestic violence related calls, when I looked at April 2020 vs 2019 we had a 194 percent increase and that means in 2019 we had 102 calls just about domestic violence, in 2020 we had over 300.”

That’s just one metric and the need is growing.

CBS2 reports the Women’s and Children’s Alliance shelter is seeing emergency intakes at an all time high so far this year.

Intakes are emergency calls that arise from life or death situations where a person needs to be removed from an abusive household.

Last year the organization helped with 4, this year that number has more than doubled at 14.

“That’s a tremendous increase,” Black shares.

Civil protection orders are also on the rise.

“The number that the courthouse has seen in August there was 197 protection filings, that’s just in Ada county!” Black exclaims.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and while domestic violence knows no gender, race or socioeconomic background,

There is help right here in the Treasure Valley.

And it starts with noticing the signs of abuse, even in our socially distant age.

The WCA offers counseling, help with finances, as well as an emergency shelter.

Black stresses that violence isn’t just physical, it’s also emotional.

“If there are individuals at your work or your church that you had a pattern of interaction with prior to COVID, you know you called each other once in awhile and saw one another quite a bit and now you’re not hearing from that person at all, that could be a red flag,” Black explains.

If you notice any signs of isolation or abuse reach out.

You can find more information on Warning Signs of Abusive Relationship at:

http://www.wcaboise.org/get-help/warning-signs/

“Pick up the phone, give a call send a Facebook message, reach out on Twitter, however it is you interact with someone just to see how they are doing, just listen and if you think there are grounds for thinking that there is an issue, then share our website and share our numbers, invite them to come to one of our virtual tours,” Black explains.

The WCA helps all victims: women, children, even men and members of the LGBTQ community. and it’s completely free.

“One of the things that we work so hard to do is get the word out in various communities, LGBTQI, Hispanic, Native American communities, regardless, we are here for everyone.” Black says. “We are a safe place regardless of how they present. we offer no judgement and we are here to serve anyone who has been traumatized by abuse and sexual assault, we are here.”

If you or someone you love is in an abusive situation, reach out. There are 24 hour hotlines you can call to get more information:

Domestic Abuse Crisis Hotline: 208.343.7025

*Línea directa de Crisis de Violencia Doméstica

Rape Crisis Hotline: 208.345.7273 (RAPE)

*Línea directa de Crisis de Violación

The Women’s and Children’s Alliance of Boise has events all month long in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month you can find a full list at:

http://www.wcaboise.org/news-events/domestic-violence-awareness-month/

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