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Coronavirus leads to 200% hike in personal protection order requests

The YWCA of Greater Flint is seeing a direct connection between the coronavirus pandemic restrictions and a rise in domestic assault.
Published: Dec. 3, 2020 at 5:47 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (12/3/2020) - In the last 6 months, from June through November, the YWCA of Greater Flint has seen an average increase of 200-percent more requests for personal protection orders related to intimate partner violence and sexual assault incidents.

“Unfortunately, I understand the reasons why and I support health and safety first, but it certainly is taking a huge toll on those that have violence in their home,” Ann Kita, the YWCA’s Director of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault explained.

She said they’re seeing a direct connection between the coronavirus pandemic restrictions and a rise in domestic assault.

“I do feel that things in our society influences the increase in violence. So absolutely, the lack of jobs, the lack of opportunity, of getting out of your own home,” Kita shared.

Unable to get out of the home as freely as we once have, people are feeling more and more isolated.

Kita said even having kids learning remotely is making an impact.

“When children were going to school, there was opportunity to volunteer, to participate in field trips. You know, just to have another connection to other people. And that has been now so limited and they’re so isolated,” she explained.

So Kita is encouraging the community to make an effort with your loved ones who you feel may be at risk for becoming a victim. The best thing to do Kita said is simply listen.

“To just, you know, be on the phone and if they’re just rambling, they’re frustrated, it’s really just active listening,” she explained. “And then, also my advocacy piece is to actually plant that seed to know, you know there is the YW, and they have a crisis line -- their business is still open.”

Kita said the crisis hotline (810-238-SAFE) is available 24 hours a day. It’s free and confidential.

And, their doors are open Monday through Thursday. They’re offering services in-person or remote.

Kita said don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re not feeling well, they have measures in place to make sure you’re not just safe, but healthy too.

Spaces at the YWCA of Greater Flint’s shelter are also in high demand.

Kita explained they’ve been full since October. Every time someone leaves, their spot is filled within the next hour.

They work with both Catholic Charities and Carriage Town Ministries to help provide what the women, mothers and their kids need.

But she said, if you’re willing to give, they could always use winter clothes – socks, gloves, hats, scarves and coats.

They’re asking for those items in both kids and women sizes.

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