LOS ANGELES - The coronavirus stay-at-home order can be dangerous for people in domestic violence relationships.
Nonprofit organizations like House of Ruth in Pomona are offering services to abuse survivors to help during the coronavirus pandemic.
"As a domestic violence service provider, we are well trained in dealing with crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic is presenting such a unique challenge for us, just in flexing our services to be able to respond to the Safer at Home Order," said Pat Bell, the Executive Director for House of Ruth.
Hilda L. Solis, a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, acknowledged the risks for abuse survivors at home in a news conference Tuesday.
"It's especially difficult and could be dangerous for people enduring domestic violence. Being at home is not always safer," she said.
Solis said the county is offering resources, and working with organizations in the county to ensure people have places to go. She said domestic violence shelters are also open.
However, Bell said shelters are filling up because of coronavirus.
"Our shelter is full. Every shelter in the Southern California area has a certain capacity and a lot of shelters are full and there is no bed space available," said Bell.
There is a 24-hour, seven days a week hotline offered for survivors to give the other resources and suggestions on places to go.
"We've got domestic violence counselors available to answer questions, offer support and provide resources," she said.
Bell said they work with survivors on creating plans to stay safe at home with their abusers too, if the survivor is unable to find a friend or family member to take them in.
"We do what's called safety planning with our clients," she said.
Bell advises people to stay away from windows or glass during fights and to avoid areas like the kitchen to stay out of harms way as much as possible.
Bell said law enforcement partners are telling her they are seeing an increase in calls, but there are less calls coming into the House of Ruth, and Bell believes it's because abusers are taking advantage of the stay at home mandate.
"You can imagine an abuser and a survivor in the same home. It's difficult for the survivor to reach out for help because the abuser is right there with them. Because people can't leave the home to come in for face-to-face services, we are able to help out with the support that a person might need either with a case manager or counselor to be able to talk through their fears, their anxiety, all of the things that all of us are worrying about right now," she said.
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