For people experiencing domestic violence, stay-at-home orders may be trapping them with their abusers.
California Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) is asking the public to raise awareness about these dangers as directives to shelter-in-place to slow the spread of COVID-19 continue throughout the state.
“The recent passing of a woman from Mendocino County, allegedly from an attack by her husband who had been arrested numerous times for domestic abuse, is a grim reminder of the tragedy of domestic abuse and sexual assault,” Wood said in a press release. “We are now asking people to isolate and shelter in place in their homes, which should be a place we rely on to be safe.”
According to the release, the National Domestic Violence Hotline says they’ve seen an increase in the number of callers reporting that their abusers are using COVID-19 to increase their isolation from friends and family. In a statement on the hotline website, they say, “In a time where companies may be encouraging that their employees work remotely, and the CDC is encouraging social distancing, an abuser may take advantage of an already stressful situation to gain more control.”
According to Legal Aid of Sonoma County, the courts are still filing temporary restraining orders online during this time. Temporary restraining orders that are set to expire will be automatically renewed. Visit Legal Aid of Sonoma County's website for more help filing a restraining order.
“Every county in the district I represent – Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity, Mendocino, and Sonoma – has resources to help both victims and the public,” Wood said. “I have put many of them here on my website, along with other COVID-19 resources, and would ask that if you know of someone or see someone experiencing or vulnerable to this abuse or assault, please seek advice about how you can help.”
General resources and advice:
- Interactive map of California resources: https://www.cpedv.org/domestic-violence-organizations-california
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233 or TTY 800-787-3224 or text LOVEIS to 22-522
- Tips for talking to a friend: https://www.domesticviolenceinfo.ca/tips-for-helping-a-friend/
- In emergencies, call 911