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The Rebound Detroit: How domestic violence victims can get help during the pandemic

Posted at 6:31 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 18:31:43-04

(WXYZ) — According to national statistics, nearly 20 people every minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in America. That amounts to more than 10 million people a year.

Now, add the unemployment pressure from the coronavirus pandemic and being trapped in a home with your abuser. Experts say there has been a horrifying global surge of domestic violence.

Karen Gray-Sheffield, the director of Ascension Southeast Michigan Community Health, said domestic violence touches everyone. While the economy is re-opening, the 3-month shutdown has been tough with no access to the legal system.

"Many of these victims do not have the opportunity to go into the courts now, or to file the personal protection order," Suzzanne, a domestic violence survivor, said.

Suzzane is keeping her identity concealed for fear of retaliation is a survivor.

Her abuse started with an argument..

She endured physical and mental abuse for three and a half years.. and like so many victims she was blocked from help.

"Trying to be able to call the police or things like that or try to hit the panic button on my alarm is like he stopped me from every means you know," she said.

Experts say abusers often lie, blame the victim, and try to keep the victims isolated, which is easy to do in the pandemic.

Fortunately for Suzzanne, an officer introduced her to Open Arms, a program with many community partners.

Open Arms helped Suzzane with legal help, a personal protection order and therapy. Karen says with Open Arms, even during this pandemic help is available.

She added the key is having a plan to escape, gather your children's documents ahead of time so you don't have to return and be confident in your decision to leave.

So here is the rebound run down

- If you need help now call 313-369-5784

- The help from open arms is free

- You will have access to counseling court advocacy even filing a ppo

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