BOSTON (CBS) – As Massachusetts officials work to stop the spread the coronavirus, they also want victims of domestic violence to know that help is still available. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said calls to domestic violence hotlines have decreased in recent weeks.

“In some circumstances, these necessary steps of social distancing and staying home have left survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence particularly vulnerable,” Polito said Thursday.

The confidential hotline SafeLink is being expanded and will connect victims of both sexual assault and domestic violence to rape crisis centers as well as local programs in their communities. Information is also now available by calling 211.

The toll free number for SafeLink is 877-785-2020. Anyone who is in immediate danger should call 911.

“If you are at home with someone who has abused you, please call for help when you can see the person, but are far enough away that they can’t hear you,” Polito said. “This is the best way to ensure that reaching out for help, does not further endanger you.”

SafeLink allows callers to discuss their experiences with a trained advocate about potential options.

“To anybody that might be watching, know that you are not alone and that there are resources available to help you,” Polito said. “We see you. We believe in you. And we are here for you.”

More Information: Domestic Violence Programs For Survivors

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