DC domestic violence cases rise during coronavirus closures

As D.C. continues to remain under tight restrictions during the new coronavirus pandemic and many people stay home, a local nonprofit says that there has been a spike in area domestic violence cases.

DC Safe, the largest crisis intervention agency in the city, is trying to provide some guidance for victims through its hotline.

“The traffic on our response line that helps survivors navigate these processes has doubled,” says Natalia Otero, co-founder of DC Safe.

The nonprofit typically helps guide about 5,000 victims through the court process, but with resources stretched thin, the main access to file for a protective order is now online, adding a new dynamic they are working 24/7 to navigate.

“The only relief right now is for survivors that are in critical need,” Otero added.

The organization has resorted to a grassroots, one-on-one approach by sending advocates out into the community to provide services for all victims who contact them. They have also partnered with other organizations to make sure every victim receives assistance.

“You can reach out,” Otero said.

Those in need of services can contact the local hotline at 1-844-443-5732 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

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