Domestic Violence Cases Increase During the Pandemic

More than two years into the pandemic, a dramatic spike in the number of calls to the domestic violence hotline in the North Country continues to grow. While COVID-19-related lockdowns may have decreased the spread of the deadly virus, they appear to have created an ideal environment for increased domestic violence. Since the pandemic began, calls are way up at the North Country’s STOP Domestic Violence Hotline. In 2019, there were around 23-hundred calls. In 2020, calls were up by more than 1,000 to 3,400. In 2021, the number of calls nearly doubled to around 6,000. And so far in 2022, there have been 1,700 calls in just the first three months of the year. That’s on pace to surpass last year. The Executive Director of STOP Domestic Violence, Amber Brown-Rose, says there’s no way to tell how long the number of calls will stay this high or if they’ll eventually drop back to pre-pandemic numbers. She says the problem stems from prolonged isolation and other stress factors, like finances, or separation from loved ones during the pandemic. If you or someone you know needs help, call the STOP Domestic Violence 24/7 Hotline in Northern New York at 1-518-563-6904. Or, you can reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.