BOSTON (CBS) – With schools and workplaces closed and families home together – cooped up for who knows how long – advocates, police and community leaders are worried about those whose homes aren’t safe.
“They’re stuck in the house; they’re probably not allowed to leave the house. It’s gut-wrenching to hear directly from victims that this is what they’re having to face,” domestic abuse survivor Lovern Gordon said. “Calls are up in different ways, but they’re up.”
Gordon remembers how frightened she was, years ago, when an ER doctor offered her support.
“I just didn’t want to be blamed or shamed. Help looks scary to folks who are calling a number and they aren’t sure where it leads to,” Gordon recalled.
She wants victims to know the police will come – if you want them to. But there are also ways to quietly ask for help, like texting or other virtual support. And she said it’s up to all of us to be good, caring neighbors.
“It’s upon us. There’s still things we can do to advocate for people who are quarantined and really don’t feel like they have another way out,” Gordon added.
She stresses while there is domestic violence everywhere, there’s help everywhere, too. And no one deserves to be hurt, no matter what they’ve been told.
“You didn’t ask to be abused in any way shape or form, verbally, physically or emotionally,” Gordon said. “This was never on you.”
To anyone who is facing domestic abuse:
- In the case of an emergency, call 911.
- If someone is hurting you or making you feel unsafe, you can also call SafeLink, Massachusetts’ 24/7 toll-free hotline at 877-785-2020.
- If you are experiencing child abuse, or if you suspect child abuse, call 911.