BOISE, Idaho — COVID-19 lockdowns are aimed to help reduce the spread of the Coronavirus and lower transmission, but unfortunately, due to being locked indoors and not having the same resources as before, more are facing domestic abuse and domestic violence during the pandemic according to the Women's and Children's Alliance in Boise
From January through September of 2019 to January through September of 2020, the WCA has seen a 91% increase in hotline calls related to domestic violence.
In 2019, the shelter had only four emergency intakes total, and this year, there have been 16 so far.
"It is very troubling. The fact that it has just continued to be so dangerous for individuals," CEO of WCA Boise Beatrice Black says. "With the increase in COVID cases and the increased emphasis to stay home, you are going to find that the individuals who follow that will be safer from COVID, but it's also a way to keep people trapped in a home with someone who is not necessarily safe for them."
The first place to reach out for help is by calling their 24-hour hotline. WCA staff are on the other line to reassure anyone who is calling and support them with appropriate resources.
"Just being able to have somebody to hear you out and validate that what you are feeling based on those situations is real and it's profound, and it's painful," WCA program director Beronica Salazar says. "We really just want to be there to be responsive to their needs."
After a call, the WCA works to find out the appropriate resources for the individual calling.
"Depending on when they are ready, we might say 'hey have you thought about this program, we can offer it for free', and then you don't have to worry about the cost being prohibited because we have that support," Salazar says.
The WCA wants everyone to know; you are not alone. Reaching out is the first step and has been successful for many others.
"Somehow they were able to in that pain, reach out and they were able to get the resources, and they were able to ask for help and where they are now is just so humbling to me," Black says.
If you or someone you know needs help and facing a domestic violence situation, visit the WCA's website or call the 24-hour hotline at (208)-343-7025.