SafeNet sees alarming rise in domestic violence cases

Local News

Officials from one local organization said that in just the past three weeks, domestic violence calls have increased.

Here is more on this alarming increase and what the organization thinks is the reason.

SafeNet aims to help those in domestic violence and has received a huge increase in calls. October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

One representative said that the highest age group that call in the most are people ages 20 to 28.

It only takes one phone call to receive help. SafeNet is an organization that provides services for domestic violence victims with a 24/7 call center to get emergency housing, counseling services, or legal representation.

The Director Domestic Violence Services at SafeNet, Robyn Young, said that there has been a 35% increase in calls within the last three weeks and the reason might be due to the pandemic.

“People were locked down. They were stuck in the house together. They were worried about the pandemic. People have been fighting. It’s not that they have just started,” said Robyn Young, Director of Domestic Violence Services at SafeNet.

One of the counselors with SafeNet describes the process of when someone calls in. For safety reasons, the name of the counselor is being kept private.

“There might be safety planning that needs to happen. There might be coordination services. They might just want to be heard,” said a counselor advocate at SafeNet.

In an effort to spread awareness, SafeNet employees put out a silent witness display to help people and give an actual story for a victim.

“The displays are really important especially in October which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We try to get as much awareness out there all throughout the year,” said Young.

According to SafeNet’s website, 1,500 people use the organization’s services annually in Erie County.

Young said that this year might surpass that number.

“My guess is that we are going to be close to the 2,000 mark this year,” said Young.

Young hopes that the silent witness displays will bring awareness that will urge people to pick up the phone and make the call for help.

The silent witness displays have so far been on Mercyhurst and Gannon campuses and are currently in the Erie County Courthouse.

For more information on how to get in touch with SafeNet, their office is located at 1702 French Street, or click here.

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