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Less than 2 weeks into stay-at-home order, Hawaii leaders say domestic violence is on the rise

A neighborhood with cars in the driveways
Source: Hawaii News Now

Honolulu, HAWAII — It’s been nearly two weeks since Gov. David Ige issued a mandatory “stay-at-home” order for all Hawaii residents in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. But for some, home is not the safest place.

“In these times, unfortunately, domestic violence ticks up,” said Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green.

"We are getting a lot of information from the community about the rise in domestic violence and abuse issues,” Department of Human Services Director Pankaj Bhanot said.

The number of women calling support services has doubled in some places around the country.

"We know lockdowns and quarantines are essential to suppressing COVID-19. But they can trap women with abusive partners. Over the past weeks as economic and social pressures and fear have grown, we have seen a horrifying global surge in domestic violence,” said Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General.

Guterres urged government officials to continue to prosecute abusers, set up emergency warning systems in pharmacies and grocery stores and create safe ways for women to seek support, without alerting their abusers.

Hawaii domestic violence victims’ advocates have been working nonstop to help survivors stay safe since the state’s stay-at-home order went into effect on March 25th.

“The first week of the stay-at-home order, we had every person on our staff contact the people they’ve been helping,” said Nanci Kreidman, Domestic Violence Action Center Chief Executive Officer. “They called and contacted 600 survivors the first three days of the stay-at-home order.”

Since the new mandate, DVAC has added a text and chat feature to their website to help victims who are stuck at home with their abusers.

Read more at Hawaii News Now