SAN FRANCISCOーAfter the lockdown order earlier this March, domestic violence reports had risen by 30% in New York, Washington D.C. and the San Francisco area within the first two weeks. However, San Francisco saw a concerning drop in reports when the pandemic began, and as time continues to go by in lockdown, SF Officials are issuing housing and services to anyone stuck at home with an abuser.
San Francisco Officials said that within the first week of the shelter-in-place-order, they saw a dramatic increase of domestic violence reports. After that first week, reports began to drop, making officials like San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin concerned.
“To us that is a troubling sign that requests have dropped off because it shows us those at home with abusers are having a hard time reaching out for help,” Boudin said.
Kathy Black, who is a part of Mayor London Breed’s Press Office and Executive Director of La Casa De Las Madres (a San Francisco group that provides help to domestic violence victims) expressed the need for safe housing for victims of such violence in April.
“Someone who might have been participating in support groups or seeing a peer counselor or any local resources… now those things may not be available in the same way, so they are now isolated,” Black said. “I think that will be very useful as this pandemic stretches on the need for additional safe housing and safe shelter is just going to grow.”
20 furnished apartments were set up in April, allowing victims to stay up to 90 days rent free. Officials are continuing to provide more units for those who are still seeking help during these troubling times, when many services aren’t available in person.
Boudin said, “In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s particularly the most vulnerable victims of violence in the home who are at increased risk…People are stuck with their abuser and can’t go out in the community and seek help as they normally would.”
The Mayor’s Office has listed multiple services on their website to help in any way they can.