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The novel coronavirus pandemic has upended most aspects of everyday life for people nationwide. It has caused limitations on what people can do, and, in some cases, where they can go.
But COVID-19 should not stop any person experiencing abuse from going to the authorities.
“An abuser will use anything in their toolbox to exert their power and control, and COVID-19 is one of those tools,” said Crystal Justice, who oversees development at the National Domestic Violence Hotline, a 24/7 national hotline in the United States.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline warns that abusers can tailor circumstances surrounding the virus to their advantage, such as threatening to withhold hand sanitizer, insurance cards or other equipment and sharing false information to cause fear.
The hotline encourages victims to take care of themselves, create safety plans and ask for help.
Anyone who is the victim of domestic abuse can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233. Those unable to safely speak can text LOVEIS to 22522 or visit thehotline.org.
Meanwhile, the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline has reported “a significant spike in the need for our services” in an April 1 blog post announcing the beginning of Child Abuse Prevention Month.
“Anyone can reach our trained counselors round the clock,” said founder and CEO Sara O’Meara. “Sharing our number helps save lives. We are only a call, text or online chat away — all simply by reaching out to Childhelp’s 1‑800‑4‑A‑CHILD hotline.”
Anyone looking to report this can also send a text message to 1-800-422-4453 or visit the Childhelp Hotline here.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.