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Organization sees rise in domestic violence calls during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 5:14 PM, Jul 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-31 17:14:13-04

BALTIMORE — During a press conference Thursday Mayor Jack Young reiterated the importance of seeking help if you find yourself in a home environment that isn't safe. His message comes as the organization Turnaround said it's seen a 300 percent increase in service calls since the COVID-19 hit.

"While it is important to work together to stop the spread of the virus, you are not required to stay at home when home is not safe," said Mayor Young.

The Leadership team at Turnaround told WMAR-2 News that despite staff having to work from home, the organization has been busier than in the past. To meet the needs of clients, Turnaround has moved to virtual meetings and social media. The organization provides counseling and support services to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and sex trafficking.

"We were used to, at any given time, having people walk into our office for help," said Deputy Director Rachel Sye. "We knew we had to make a shift and that's what we did."

Turnaround said it has seen an increase in the demand for help since the pandemic started. Call volume is up 300 percent, the need for emergency shelter is up 200 percent, therapy services are up 138 percent and emergency services are up 150 percent.

"The numbers show that crime doesn't stop during a pandemic," said Sye. "While we know that every home environment may not be safe, we know a pandemic can increase the amount of stress as well as the amount of abus to victims."

If you are a victim or suspect violence of any kind, you are asked to call 911. For information on Turnaround, click here.