NYC saw surge in domestic violence during COVID-19 lockdown: report

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- At least two New York City organizations that work with domestic violence victims saw a dramatic increase in cases during the COVID-19 lockdown, according to a report. 

The Met Council usually gets approximately 70 new domestic violence cases each month, but that number nearly doubled in April, to 135; and more than doubled in May and June, when the organization handled 145 and 146 new cases, respectively, the New York Post reported

Sanctuary for Families, meanwhile, received 206 calls to its domestic violence helpline in May and 259 in June, compared to 102 calls in May of last year and 73 in June of last year, according to the outlet. 

“We have seen people who never experienced violence starting to experience violence, and people who have experienced violence experience worse violence,” Nechama Bakst, the senior director of the Met Council’s family-violence program, told the outlet. 

The pandemic “gave abusers a powerful tool of control, because their victims were in much closer proximity to them, 24/7 in many cases, and had less access to sources of support and assistance,” Dorchen Leidholdt, the director of Sanctuary for Families’ Legal Center, added. 

Both organizations have since launched “text-based helplines” for victims, the outlet reported.