Crisis Services of North Alabama is seeing a 25% increase in domestic violence calls, and officials believe coronavirus is a big reason.
The center says it generally receives between 170 to 200 calls of domestic violence every month. As of Monday, there have been 230 calls so far in the month of March.
Crisis Services of North Alabama says the coronavirus has created an enormous amount of stress on people, medically, financially and emotionally. They say quarantines and isolation force victims to stay with their abusers.
"Since everything has happened with the coronavirus, we have seen about a 25% increase in our domestic violence calls that we're taking here at Crisis Services of North Alabama," Becky Cecil said.
Cecil says more and more phone calls are coming in. She says coronavirus is clearly impacting people and families, but there is no true way of knowing exactly how.
"It could be a lot of reasons, people are home more, and there's a lot of stressors, so where am I going to get supplies? What's going to happen with this virus? Where's the money going to come from? Are there going to be shortages?" Cecil said.
Cecil says time outside the house is a safe space for many victims, but with recommended social distancing to reduce exposure to the virus, that escape is gone.
"Abusers are spending alot more time with their victims, and vice versa, so alot of that can contribute to why we're seeing alot more calls," Cecil explained.
Counseling opportunities have changed, now the center holds counseling sessions remotely through a secure online platform. Cecil says the center is here for anyone who needs help.
"And we're keeping that open, so that's still open 24-7, we have staff, volunteers staffing that all day and all night," Cecil said.
The Crisis Services of North Alabama screens their own employees when they enter the building to make sure they are healthy.
You can visit the website here.
Crisis Services of North Alabama: 256-716-1000
Anonymous text line: 256-722-8219
Non-Emergency Calls: 256-716-4052