As the COVID-19 pandemic forced everyone to stay indoors and isolate, domestic violence cases are rising worldwide.
The pandemic has caused many stressors that lead to rising domestic violence cases. Families are forced to stay home. Victims can’t leave their abusers and are forced to spend their time with them in quarantine. The threat of COVID-19 has restrained victims from seeing and spending time with their extended families and friends outside their own homes. The pandemic’s economic impact also creates more financial challenges on people.
“People were not going to be able to make telephone calls because their abuser is going to be standing right next to them,” said Nanci Kreidman, CEO of Hawaii’s Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC). “When you are a prisoner of your abuser and following a stay at home directive, you are going to be in real danger.”
According to Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, the number of domestic violence cases are more likely to grow as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
October is domestic violence awareness month. The Hawaii Department of Human Services has set up a text helpline to better provide support, risk assessment, safety planning, resources and referrals to DVAC’s legal services.
If you are experiencing any violence at home, you can text (605) 956-5680 to chat with a specialist from Monday to Friday from 8AM to 5PM. You can also speak with a specialist over the phone via the helpline (808) 531-3771 or toll-free at (800) 690-6200.
Here are more hotlines to better serve domestic violence victims:
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Available 24/7 1-800-799-7233, 1-800-787-3224
Video calls for deaf callers: 1-855-812-1001 (Monday to Friday, 9AM-5PM PST)
Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Oahu: (808) 841-0822
West Hawaii: (808) 322-7233
East Hawaii: (808) 959-8864
Domestic Violence Action Center
Oahu’s PACT 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (808) 526-2200
Maui’s Helping Women 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (808) 579-9581
Kauai’s Domestic Violence 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (808) 245-6362
Kauai’s Sexual Assault 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (808) 245-2144
Molokai’s Community Service Council 24-Hour Hotline: (808) 567-6888