CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The COVID-19 pandemic has caused people to social distance and shelter in place and officials from HOPE, Inc. said domestic violence is on the rise.
For many people home is a place of safety and comfort during the COVID-19 pandemic but for others that have lost their jobs, child care and additional resources leading to domestic situations. Hope, Inc. stated they have had a significant number of calls to the shelter and their outreach offices from those needing support. They also explained that the pandemic multiplies stress victims of abuse experience, because they have no way to avoid or get away from their abuser.
“This uptick that we’ve seen the number and severity of shelter request that we are seeing defiantly has to do with the fact that people are just stuck at home together. And the fact that we don’t really have an end in sight for this,” said Michele Mccord, the Executive Director for Hope, Inc.
Hope, Inc. serves Marion, Harrison, Lewis, Doddridge and Gilmer counties.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence you can call 304-367-1100 and a hotline worker will provide help to the victim.
“Right now, due to the situation [COVID-19 pandemic] our outreach office’s which are Harrison, Lewis, Doddridge, and Gilmer are not providing services the way we normally do,” said Mccord. “They are usually walk in facilities. So, due to the situation we are operating a little differently. We are asking everyone to call our hotline number.”
Officials with Hope, inc. also explained that they are an essential service and their shelter is still open with precautionary guidelines for social distancing. Counseling and support groups have continued and Hope, Inc. said a lot of that is happening by phone and by zoom meetings.
“We are trying to keep people informed of the resources in the community. Letting them know about things that are going on that might be import for them, whether it be food drives or how they may be able to vote absentee wise. So, we are doing a lot of different things but we are still trying to make sure those services are available for our clients,” said Mccord.
Many of the calls that Hope, inc. have had come into their office recently has been immediate need calls due to the COVID-19 pandemic.