Methodist in the Media

What's Happening Behind Closed Doors? Domestic Violence Calls Spike on Easter

Published: April 15, 2020
SANE/SART Coordinator Jen Tran, MSN, RN, SANE-A

Hotline calls to the Women’s Center for Advancement, the main resource for domestic violence services in Omaha, are way down over the past six weeks from the same period last year. So are the number of protection orders and hospital visits arranged by the agency.

The Shelter, which Catholic Charities runs for victims of abuse, is down to two families. It has a capacity of eight. Methodist Health System’s emergency response for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence also has seen its numbers fall off.

All of this is occurring more than a month into the coronavirus shutdown — a time when victims’ advocates, police leaders and public officials are warning about a spike in domestic violence. People cooped up at home, the stresses of the pandemic itself, the economic toll from record job loss and the lack of outlets like jobs, gyms and parks: All are predicted to be contributors to escalating domestic tensions.

The fact that the agencies’ official numbers show a drop belies what advocates believe is happening behind closed doors.

Omaha World-Herald: What's happening behind closed doors? Domestic violence calls spike on Easter