The statistics are sobering. During the past year, domestic violence incidents have risen dramatically. Last year, CHANA, an agency of The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore, saw a 92% increase in the number of phone calls from domestic violence victims.
And that is not all. CHANA professionals spent on average 74% more time per call because each call was more dangerous and complex than ever.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time for educating the public about domestic violence and giving victims of domestic violence an opportunity to be heard.
And in Baltimore’s Jewish community, CHANA is where victims of domestic violence can find help and hope.
Regrettably, they need it more than ever before, says CHANA Executive Director Lauren Shaivitz.
Shaivitz explains that one reason that the incidence and severity of domestic violence continues to trend upwards is that many people remain isolated.
“Even if you’re going back to your life somewhat, you’re still not living as you were prior to the pandemic. Many people are now working from home,” she says. “So, they are isolated in their homes with abusers and have less access to resources and the community.”
Shaivitz notes this is especially true for older adults who are appropriately more concerned about contracting the virus and may be more dependent on a spouse, caregiver or family member for groceries, transportation and more.
Financial anxiety is another factor in the uptick in domestic violence says Shaivitz.