'Violence never stops:' Rise in domestic violence calls during coronavirus pandemic

NOW: ’Violence never stops:’ Rise in domestic violence calls during coronavirus pandemic

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The national crisis related to the COVID-19 outbreak is causing a spike in domestic violence, according to advocates.

With people sheltering in place, those at Sojourner Family Peace Center are concerned for victims.

Since the outbreak, majority of the programs at Sojourner are now remote or over email. However, two of the most critical programs remain open – the shelter and the 24-hour hotline.

The Courthouse Advocacy Program is also open. They’re still processing restraining orders.

Advocates say even during the crisis, domestic violence continues to be an issue.

“Violence never stops, and in times of stress, domestic violence absolutely goes up in people’s lives,” said Carmen Pitre, president & CEO of Sojourner Family Peace Center. “We all wanna maintain some sort of control in our lives in times of crisis, all of us are feeling stressed. That could be, we wanna go to the grocery store, stock up on groceries -- some people exercise control in different ways.”

Domestic violence advocates say going to work can be the only respite for victims, but for many it's currently not an option.

Sojourner continues to accept walk-ins, but on a limited basis. They encourage victims who need help to seek assistance.

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