The Women's Community expects rise in domestic violence, abuse following order to stay home

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- In times of instability, domestic violence and abuse often get worse. The Women's Community in Wausau is expecting an increase in need for their services, as people are ordered to stay home and some are left without a place to escape their situation.

The Women's community expects a spike in need for help escaping domestic violence and abuse (WSAW Photo).

The Women’s Community executive director Jane Graham Jennings says their shelter will remain open no matter what, not only because they're still who police call when they have a victim, but also because this could be a particularly difficult time for those in an abusive household.

"The stress situations don't cause someone to become suddenly abusive. Our concern is about people who are already living in relationships that exert power and control and manipulation," Graham Jennings said.

They expect calls for help to increase during this period, as they did during the 2008 financial crisis.

"We're kind of anticipating that we'll see a spike and ripple effects for a number of weeks, after this initial period, and we don't even know how long that will be," she said.

Because with abuse and violence, it's simply a matter of exposure.

"The more time that people have together, that are experiencing abuse, the more likely they are to be abused at a higher, more violent level," she said, concerned about the lack of an escape in public spaces like restaurants.

Although courts are suspending jury trials, there are alternative ways to get restraining orders.

"They're accepting e-filing now, so we can help walk people through that process so they know how they can do that if they need a protection order," she said.

If you are in need of assistance, click here to view the Women’s Community website. You can also call (715)-842-7323 or their 24/7 toll free hotline at (888)-665-1234. For emergencies, call 911, as they are operating normally.