Domestic violence shelters hard at work as pandemic continues

Local News

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The Exchange Center and the House of Ruth are just two of the shelters in Dothan that offer services to victims of domestic violence.

While also speaking with Dothan Police, Lieutenant Scott Owens explained the statistical rise since quarantine began.

“So between March 19, 2020 to today, so five months worth, we’ve had 480 instances of domestic violence.” Owens said.

As per why the case number is so high, House of Ruth Director Angela Underwood explained how victims can feel isolated or alone during this time, even stuck with their abusers unable to leave.

“And right now the calls are less than what we would’ve had prior to the pandemic.” Underwood said. “They can’t speak to a friend, the friend is afraid of the COVID-19 Or to get away. They can’t go into different places because of COVID-19. So in those situations they’re just trapped.”

Although the pandemic caused many people to work from home or to leave work, these organizations are still hard at work and are ready for anyone who needs them.

“I know a lot of people who are in a domestic violence situation feel like there’s not a lot of options and that there’s no way out of that.” Exchange Center Director Pamela Miles said. “And it can feel very terrifying and very overwhelming but there are resources in our community, despite this pandemic, that are here to do anything we can to help you get out of that situation to a place of safety for you and your children.

If you or anyone you know needs help, please feel free to reach out to the House of Ruth or The Exchange Center.

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