Domestic Violence Concerns During Pandemic

DevonStoryST. JOHNSBURY - Domestic violence victims stuck at home with their abusers during quarantine may be in great danger as COVID-19 shows no signs of slowing down.

The stay at home order issued by Governor Phil Scott is leaving St. Johnsbury residents, and others around Vermont, in close quarters with no way of escaping the situation.

 When asked whether he had seen an increase in domestic violence calls St. Johnsbury Police Chief, Timothy Page says, "there hasn't (been) yet, but we suspect there may be an increase at some point as this drags on and becomes more prevalent."

According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience physical violence by their intimate partner at some point during their lifetimes. About 1 in 3 women and nearly 1 in 6 men experience some form of sexual violence during their lifetimes.

"Umbrella would be their best choice to call right now, maybe Northeast Kingdom Human services.  Domestic violence is pretty much what they focus on and they would be a great resource," said Page

The increase in unemployment also may be a significant risk factor for people acting out in violence, but often times there is never one specific reason that the situation escalates.

"I think anything and everything it depends on the person and what the trigger points are in the relationship," said Page.

If you are at risk of domestic violence, contact your local police station, Umbrella at 802-748-8645, or Northeast Kingdom Human Services at 802-334-6744.

Hotlines are available 24 hours a day.