Domestic violence and COVID-19: “It’s a worst case scenario"

Posted at 11:34 PM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 23:34:18-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Erie County District Attorney John Flynn is bracing for an uptick in domestic violence cases due to COVID-19.

“We’re all self-quarantined… We’re all cooped up in our homes,” says Flynn.

His concerns come a few months after a brutal year for domestic violence. In 2019, Erie County saw 14 domestic violence homicides.

The district attorney wants to stress that resources to help are available and he will take action to prevent a repeat of last year.

“We will make arrests, we will prosecute those who want to commit a violation of the law whether it is a domestic violence law or quite frankly any law.“

Mary Travers Murphy, CEO of the Family Justice Center, says isolation is a main form of control for an abuser and it can be harder for victims to reach out for help with their abuser around.

Video chat calls, phone calls and online chat boxes are changing the way resource centers are helping victims remotely.

“If your gut is telling you something is up, you do something. You call us, you get the information…and you will save a life.”

Haven House also wants the community to know it will continue to remain open and is making healthy distancing a top safety priority.

“There is still hope, there are still services available and safe places for folks to go.”

If you, or someone you know, needs help please reach out:

Family Justice Center: 716-558-7233

Haven House, 24-hour hotline: 716-884-6000

National Domestic Violence Hotline: text “LOVEIS” to 22522