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Missoula YWCA prepares for possible rise in domestic violence calls

Posted at 6:29 PM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 20:29:49-04

MISSOULA — Experts warn there may be an uptick in domestic violence calls while people are asked to stay home during the COVID-19 outbreak..

"People that are living in violent homes are going to be spending a lot more time together, obviously, so there's going to be that increased contact," YWCA Missoula spokeswoman Becky Margolis said.

The YWCA has closed its doors to the public, but is still offering essential services like the 24/7 crisis line and the domestic violence shelter.

"It's also just a really stressful time, and stressful times can increase incidents of violence," Margolis said.

There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the shelter and Margolis said it is still fully staffed. She also told MTN News that there are advocates on standby at the crisis hotline.

"That might mean helping make a plan to flee a violent home, or if they don't have the option to leave, just helping them stay as safe as possible, being in the same home as their abuser."

If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you can call the crisis hotline at 406-542-1944.