Amid a post-COVID spike in domestic violence, the WomenShelter of Long Beach is providing resources for victims

One of the side effects of COVID was the impact on local domestic violence shelters—limiting how many people they could host at one time.

What was happening behind closed doors as the world was on lockdown has been called the “shadow pandemic” by the United Nations after a study done by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reported a 34.9 % increase in domestic violence globally after lockdown restrictions were removed.

The National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice reported an increase in the United States of just over 8% since lockdowns have been removed. 

It’s a troubling statistic, but it doesn’t exist in isolation. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that 34.9% of California women and 31.1% of California men experience intimate partner physical or sexual violence or stalking in their lifetimes. The study also says domestic violence homicides accounted for 10.7% of all California homicides in 2018.

Is the answer to tell victims to “just leave” when they find themselves in a domestic violence situation? If there are children involved or if the abuser controls the money, is leaving that simple?

On today’s episode of “The Word” podcast, Liliana Lopez, the director of programs at the WomenShelter of Long Beach, is going to answer those questions and provide resources for those who need assistance.

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Jackie Rae is a multimedia reporter for the Long Beach Post who joined in May 2021.