Raising awareness on domestic violence during the pandemic

Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 6:22 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rockford area saw a spike in domestic violence cases, and with many spending more time at home, experts worry about what could be happening behind closed doors.

School and work can be places for survivors of domestic violence to feel safe, but those comfort spots may not be an option for many during the pandemic.

“We have seen an increase in the significance of the violence,” said Beth Beth Maskell, Executive Director of Voices of Stephenson County.

Maskell said the Freeport Police Department gets about 1,000 calls related to domestic and sexual violence every six months.

“Financial stress creates a back log of other stressors which has increased our survivors violence physically, emotionally and sexually,” said Maskell.

As tensions are high both Maskell and Rockford Family Peace Center Executive Director Jennifer Cacciapaglia remind community members that there are places to go if you need help. They say they can help people find places to stay and provide a sense of security and safety.

“It’s really important for all of us to check on each other. This is a unique situation and no one who is alive today has lived though this,” said Cacciapaglia.

For resources at Rockford’s Family Peace Center, click here.

Learn more about Voices of Stephenson county on their website.

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