Experts: Pandemic creates greater risk for victims of domestic violence

Coronavirus

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — People are being encouraged to stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19. With people spending a lot more time behind closed doors, advocates are concerned about victims of domestic violence.

“I think it creates like the perfect storm,” said Tonie Ann Torrans, Executive Director of Penelope House. “A lot of times that isolation at home is what causes a lot of the incidents to increase.”

Mobile Police and authorities in Baldwin County say they haven’t seen an uptick in the number of domestic violence calls they’re taking, but experts say most cases will go unreported.

Officials with Penelope House want victims to know there are resources out there for them. Penelope House and its employees are considered essential and the shelter will not close. The Penelope House crisis line number is (251) 342-8994. It can be called any time of day. The trained professionals on the other end of the crisis line can help a victim safely escape abuse.

Advocates say now is also a good time to check on those you feel may be in an abusive relationship.

“If you know of someone who might be a victim of domestic violence, just to reach out to them and to make sure that everything is okay, and that they know there’s help available to them,” said Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich.

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*Maps provided by Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi Departments of Public Health

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