LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Resources are available to help victims of domestic violence and child abuse or neglect, Los Angeles County authorities said, noting the number of domestic violence cases has been climbing amid stay-at-home orders.
Domestic violence calls to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are up more than 8% as compared with last year, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.
He urged residents who hear someone in distress to call authorities.
“Please call 911 and we will be there very, very quickly and we will intervene,” Villanueva said.
Services and resources are available around the clock and domestic violence shelters are still open and accepting people. Victims in need of a referral can call the county’s Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-978-3600 or dial 2-1-1 at any time to get connected with services and support in their area.
Emergency protective orders are still being issued, and additional information is available online at 211la.org/domestic-violence.
Anyone in a life-threatening situation should call 911 instead.
Authorities said stay-at-home orders and school closures have also created conditions that allow child abuse and neglect to go undetected.
Educators account for 20% of calls to child protective services nationwide, but now teachers, guidance counselors and daycare providers are no longer in a position to witness and report suspected abuse and act as a lifeline to children.
Social workers urged neighbors and others concerned about a particular family to help by doing small things to ease stress. That could include assisting in providing food or other supplies, like toilet paper or coloring books.