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Surge In Domestic Violence Cases In San Francisco Since COVID-19 Stay Home Order

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) - With couples and families under stay at home orders, reports of domestic violence are up in San Francisco, according to Mayor London Breed.

In the first week of shelter in place, the San Francisco District Attorney's Office saw an initial spike of 60% in clients referred to its Victim Services Division, compared to the same week, last year.

The following week, there was a 33% decrease in referrals.

"One of the most common battering tactics is to isolate somebody from their support network - friends, family, coworkers, agencies where they may go to get assistance or support," said Kathy Black, Executive Director, La Casa De Las Madres. "So being locked in with your abuser is, as I have called it, kind of a perfect storm."

La Casa De Las Madres runs a domestic violence hotline. Black says, so far, the number of calls during quarantine have been constant.

"The calls are longer, they're longer, and there's more time taken around safety planning, logistics, talking about what somebody's options might be," said Black. "They just seem to be more complicated."

Mayor Breed and District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced Friday that the city has secured 20 furnished apartments for survivors of domestic violence. The temporary homes will be donated by property owner Veritas.

The city has also now made texting 911 available for victims who may not be able to call for help.

"I think this is an important tool, because again, we know that if there is an attack or there's something going on, and you can't necessarily talk out loud, or what have you," said Breed.

She said if the victim texts "help," or is able to describe the situation, the person will receive a response.


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