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'What COVID-19 is requiring is isolation': More time at home brings domestic violence concerns

Posted: 9:46 PM, Mar 26, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-26 23:34:07-04

The "Safer at Home" order issued by the governor this week has many advocates concerned that domestic violence cases could go up.

"Violence happens in isolation and what COVID-19 is requiring is isolation," says Sojourner Family Peace Center CEO Carmen Pitre.

Pitre said she and others started to get concerned when the first rumors of the order started.

"Anything that causes stress in people's lives can become a barrier to leaving," says Pitre.

But she wants domestic violence victims out there to know some people can help.

At Sojourner, advocates are operating the phones and ready to help. Their 24-hour crisis line at (414) 933-2722 is open for victims. The advocates can help people file protection orders with the court system despite its closure.

Pitre says, "there's an e-filing system that is operating, and commissioners will review the application within 24 hours."

Natalie Hayden is a survivor of domestic abuse and is now helping other victims as an advocate. As the coronavirus pandemic is challenging for everyone, she says it can be especially troubling for those in this situation.

"It's very challenging for one to be in a domestic violence circumstance under any situation. But this right here adds a different level of uncertainty and anxiety," says Hayden.

Hayden is also the co-host of a podcast dedicated to helping people through these situations. "Exposed the Podcast - Conversations on Life after Abuse" is available where you get your podcasts.

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Coronavirus in Wisconsin

Confirmed cases: 1,268 (as of Monday afternoon)

Deaths: 20

Negative tests: 15,856

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