PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Isolation due to the pandemic is causing one center to report record high numbers in safe shelters and calls this year.
The Center of Prevention of Abuse received more than 10,000 calls to their hotline and provided 10,000 nights of safe shelter to victims in 2020 so far.
The Center of Prevention of Abuse Director, Fran Reyes, said the pandemic is playing a huge role in cases. However, she said during the beginning of the pandemic, in 2019 they did not see a spike in calls, but that doesn’t mean the abuse wasn’t happening.
“There wasn’t an initial spike and that is likely because individuals were mandated to stay at home so there wasn’t a safe opportunity for folks to pick up the phone and give us a call,” said Reyes.
Now with people returning to the workforce and mandates slowly being lifted, she said the phone is always ringing, and they’re ready to help.
“We are starting to see more of a steady increase as a result of that, and we do anticipate that those numbers will continue to rise as those mandates continue to rise, whereas in the beginning, everyone had to lock down and stay down,” said Reyes.
She said they did not see an increase in cases due to the holiday season but there are many added stressors that could cause an abuser to act violently.
“There’s added finances with the holidays there’s more time at home,” said Reyes.
The Center of Prevention of Abuse is available 24 hours 7 days a week and can be reached at 309-691-0551.