Ashakiran director expects spike in domestic violence calls

Domestic violence concerns during coronavirus pandemic

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) -Of course, for some people the issue is much more serious than personal space and irritating habits. There are people right now being forced to spend more time with abusers due to these shutdowns.

Ashakiran's executive director tells us she expects to receive more domestic violence calls in light of the coronavirus situation.
Ashakiran's executive director tells us she expects to receive more domestic violence calls in light of the coronavirus situation. (Source: WAFF)

Ashakiran is a nonprofit that provides support to victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.

We talked with Erin Bortel, their executive director. To be clear, she doesn’t think the coronavirus situation will create violence, but she fears it may worsen already violent relationships.

Bortel says after Hurricane Harvey in 2017 the country saw a jump in domestic violence reports and murders.

She says since people are home so much right now- she is expecting a spike in calls.

Luckily the call center- which is 24/7- works online, So their staff is continuing to answer calls as usual from home. This is why Bortel tells me they will not shut down services.

Ashakiran also provides emergency shelters.

She says if you feel unsafe in your home to give them a call.

“We have safety protocol in place to keep people physically safe as well as healthy. So we don’t want the current situation to be a deterrent for people reaching out for help. So if you’re in a domestically violence relationship or experiencing interpersonal violence in your home, please call ashaline,” Bortel said.

Bortel also says to pay attention to your neighbors and offer help if you can. The AshaLine is open 24/7, 365 days a year.

AshaLine: (256) 509-1882

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