As families stay at home together during the coronavirus pandemic, the San Diego County District Attorney acknowledged "home is not safe for everyone" because of domestic violence.
"We are expecting from past experience and anecdotally seeing examples of domestic violence on the rise because of additional contact," District Attorney Summer Stephan said Saturday. "We want victims to know there is a lifeline for them."
Stephan also cited increased stress from economic hardships, like losing a job, as a possible factor in domestic violence cases.
Having children at home every day can also create tension and create an environment where they could be caught in the crossfire, Stephan said. Children do not have safe counselors to turn to, as they might have in a school or community setting.
Though many court operations have been suspended during the stay-at-home order, the court remains available for certain emergency procedures like domestic violence restraining orders and gun violence protective orders.
A small number of judges are also available to cover emergency civil, family law, juvenile and probate orders, according to the San Diego County Superior Court.
If you are a victim or know someone who is a victim, click here for domestic violence resources in San Diego County and here for the Spanish version. Victims can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
Organizations providing assistance to victims of domestic violence also reported an increase in cases of physical and verbal abuse since the stay-at-home order was issued in response to the coronavirus outbreak.