Domestic violence in the age of COVID-19

News Connection

The number of domestic abuse cases has been on the rise

SAN ANGELO, Texas — San Angelo’s Family Shelter workers are adjusting their services because of the Coronavirus outbreak, as they’re seeing an increase in domestic violence calls across the 15 Concho Valley county area they serve.

“We have seen an increase in our hotlines from our victims,” said Jeri Slone, Executive Director of the San Angelo Family Shelter.

With families being together at home during the Coronavirus pandemic, the number of domestic abuse cases has been on the rise. In order to keep the virus out of the shelter, Jeri Sloan said they are taking measures to keep residents safe and only taking in victims who are in extremely dangerous situations.

“We have limited our intakes. We’re working with those who are in a really volatile, dangerous situation. We’ll bring them in but have to quarantine them before we let them go to the general population in the shelter,” explained Slone.

The shelter has set up an outside office to work with non-residential victims. Counselors and case managers are available over the phone to domestic abuse victims throughout the 15 counties the shelter serves.

“All of our services are available non-residentially, and that’s the case 365 days a year,” added Slone.

This week the Texas Health and Human Services Commission received more than $3M in federal funding to provide shelter and services to survivors of family and domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, something Slone says will help the shelter continue to offer services to victims.

“We don’t know how it would be allocated but there will be monies available for us to at least apply for it. We will focus it on our non-residential programs,” continued Slone.

At the moment, the shelter is not taking clothing or household donations, but the shelter is in need of hygiene and paper goods. If you would like to donate these items, you can drop them off at the front of the shelter, located at 79 Gillis St. in San Angelo.

If you need emergency help, dial 911.

You can reach the 24-hour hotline at 800-749-8631.

During normal business hours, you can call the family shelter at 325-658-8631.

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