Domestic violence numbers have increased nationally over the last two weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Upper Cumberland Family Justice Center Director Amy Stockwell said the office has not seen an increase in calls, but that doesn’t mean there’s less abuse.
“All of the obstacles we’ve been through lately with the tornado and COVID-19, I think that people are more afraid because you’re already insecure because of these other things and it makes it harder to report that domestic violence incident or try to leave at this time,” Stockwell said.
The Family Justice Center has suspended all visits in the office, but will continue to take calls. Stockwell said they can arrange an order of protection and other needs over the phone.
Stockwell said there are ways victims can diffuse the situation amid the pandemic.
“Domestic violence survivors are very good at learning to read the temperature in the room and keep themselves safe,” Stockwell said. “The eye on safety is always first, but especially now. It’s still okay to take a walk or take yourself however you can to get yourself out of the situation but not put yourself further in danger.”
The Genesis House’s 24/7 crisis line is still in operation as well for any victims in need, Stockwell added.
To contact the UC Justice Center, call 931-528-1512. To contact the Genesis House call 931-526-5197 or 800-707-5197.