Domestic Violence Hotline Calls, Events Increase In Nashville, Seattle Amid Coronavirus Quarantine

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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Domestic Violence Hotline calls increased in Nashville while domestic violence arguments increased in Seattle amid coronavirus quarantines.

The Seattle Police Department reported a 23% increase of 114 domestic violence–related events over the same time in 2019, Detective Patrick Michaud told the Daily Caller News Foundation, referring to the past 21 days of calls. The two primary categories with increases were domestic violence arguments, disturbance with no arrest, followed by domestic violence–assist victim by court order.

“This includes both dispatched and onviews,” he said. “When we just look at dispatched calls, that percentage increases to ~28% or 107 more calls from the previous year.”

The domestic violence crisis hotline Nashville YWCA Crisis & Support Helpline also reported a 55% jump in the first two weeks of March compared to the same time in 2019, according to the Tennessean, receiving 252 calls between March 1 and March 19 compared to the 163 calls the hotline received during the same period in 2019.

Advocates say victims are experiencing greater risks as Americans quarantine, placing victims and perpetrators in close and constant proximity. (RELATED: Ohio Department Of Health Issues Cease And Desist To Abortion Clinic Defying Coronavirus Order)

“Because we expect that people are spending more time at home, possibly not leaving the home for work each day, for example, we know survivors are spending more time in closer proximity to their abusers,” the National Domestic Violence Hotline CEO Katie Ray-Jones told the DCNF on March 19. “This is stressful for everyone but especially survivors.”

Ray-Jones added: “Our experience informs us that in homes where domestic violence is occurring and there is a negative financial impact or added stress in the home, we typically see a higher frequency of incidents of abuse and severity of abuse.”

“We are closely monitoring and will be able to provide updates if that changes,” Ray-Jones said. “We will also monitor if text or online chats elevate over phone calls, as that might happen because phone calls may be difficult for survivors to make.”

The National Domestic Violence Hotline’s call, chat and text volume has remained in the usual range of 1,800 to 2,000 per day, spokeswoman Lisa Lawrence confirmed to the DCNF on Monday.

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