Domestic violence concern in the Valley, "Please call for assistance"

Published: Jun. 1, 2020 at 10:30 PM CDT
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Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, YWCA says domestic calls have risen in the Valley.

“From March through May, there has been an 18 percent increase in domestic calls in 2020 compared to the same time period in 2019,” said Erin Prochnow, Erin Prochnow, YWCA Cass Clay CEO.

However, shelters that help provide resources to those in need are seeing a concerning disconnect. The YWCA and the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center says when the pandemic began, they didn’t see more people reaching out for help.

“When people are more isolated, I think there is no question that power and that control only has the opportunity to increase,” Prochnow said.

“We were hitting times that were new for all of us,” Myla Korbel, Rape & Abuse Crisis Center Chief Program Officer. “Everyone’s concerned about their environment, they’re very confined, worried about safety in numerous ways. I think another thing was everything was shut down so the belief was where do I go.”

Prochnow says that’s not the only concern. The people who did ask her center for help did not follow through.

“We have seen an increase in people who have called for help that haven’t arrived after scheduling an intake,” Prochnow said.

Prochnow says this is not typical for the shelter.

During a time of increased instability and pressure, it can be a dangerous combination.

“With everything that is going on, the community is all tense,” Korbel said “We are seeing with the calls that we are getting, we are seeing more weapons, more hostility with the violence. There’s just an increase. That’s something we have been seeing with the pandemic.”

So shelters are spreading the message. They are open. Call for help.

“Domestic violence, child sexual abuse, sexual assault, human trafficking, elder abuse. All of those issues are Rape and Abuse Crisis Center issues so please reach out for all of them,” Korbel said.

“We are here for you,” Prochnow said. “Please call for assistance if you need access to emergency shelter.”

Also, the YWCA has partnered up with others in the community to offer food to those in need.

If you are in need of shelter, food, counseling or other resources, visit YWCA https://www.Ywcacassclay.Org/ or Rape and Abuse Crisis Center https://www.Raccfm.Com/

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