Advocates Fear A Surge of Domestic Violence Is Happening In Colorado

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Advocates who help survivors of domestic violence are preparing for an onslaught of need they cannot yet see, with many Coloradans stuck in abusive homes due to the coronavirus response.

“We certainly see programs across the state resting up, cleaning up and stocking up and getting ready for what will undoubtedly be a surge in victims of domestic violence reaching out,” said Amy Pohl, associate director of Violence Free Colorado.

Colorado is currently under a statewide stay-at-home order in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, which means many survivors are isolated at home with their abusers.

“Isolation is a tactic that is used every day by people using abusive behaviors. It’s a way to manipulate and to gain power and maintain control over victims. And so when there is government-imposed isolation, those tactics are simply escalated,” Pohl said.

Violence Free Colorado has not seen a significant increase in calls for help so far. But Pohl said in an interview that she believes that is because people who are being abused simply are not in a position to reach out for help yet.

“We know on a national level when we’ve experienced these kinds of crises before, natural disasters or events that have impacted huge communities, that we don’t see an increase in calls right away because people are really trying to deal with their basic needs. Making sure that they have food and toiletries, making sure they have care for their children, figuring out what’s going on with their work life. Once those things get a little more settled, for lack of a better term, they might be able to turn their attention back toward trying to figure out what to do about the violence that’s happened,” Pohl said.

Continue reading on Rocky Mountain PBS


John Ferrugia, Rocky Mountain PBS

Brittany Freeman, Rocky Mountain PBS

Debbie Higgs, Rocky Mountain PBS

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