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AG: Assistance is still available to domestic violence victims during pandemic

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall speaks during a press conference on COVID-19 with Gov. Kay Ivey in April 2020. GOVERNOR's OFFICE/HAL YEAGER

Attorney General Steve Marshall and Jawandalyn Brooks, Executive Director, Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ACADV), joined Thursday to remind the public that domestic violence is a growing concern during the coronavirus pandemic, and despite the public stay-at-home orders, victims of domestic violence may still seek shelter and assistance from abuse.

“As our state works to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and families are ordered to shelter in place, the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence recognizes that domestic violence does not stop,” said ACADV executive director Jawandalyn Brooks.

“During this time of uncertainty, families will be even more stressed with loss of work, closed schools and the realities of this illness, posing a unique threat to people in abusive relationships.  Equally concerning, victims may feel further isolated and cut off from help.  Anyone who is experiencing domestic violence can still get the support of advocates and access to life-saving resources.

“Sheltering in place does not mean that a victim of domestic violence is required to stay in isolation with an abusive partner,” Brooks added. “We have 16 domestic violence programs throughout the state that are continually working to provide safe emergency housing to everyone who needs it.”

“Nearly one in three adult women will be physically assaulted by a partner, but only one-fourth of such assaults is ever reported to police,” said Attorney General Marshall.  “A domestic violence offense should not be excused because the public’s focus has shifted to the ongoing health crisis.  I am pleased to join with the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence to ensure that offenders continue to be held accountable.  If you are a victim of domestic violence, please report it to local law enforcement.  If you need immediate shelter from abuse, you should contact your local domestic violence abuse shelter.”

Alabama has a 24-hour statewide domestic violence hotline for those seeking help to escape the abuse in their home.  If you are in need of assistance, or if you know of someone who might need help, please call 1-800-650-6522.  Las víctimas de violencia doméstica pueden recibir ayuda.  Llame la línea directa de violencia doméstica de Alabama, por 1-800-650-6522.

Link to map of domestic violence abuse shelters in state of Alabama

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