May 9, 2020
In late April, the Plattsburgh Police said that because people in the Lake City are essentially forced to stay home, domestic violence calls are up by 50% from the same time last year. According to the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York’s Plattsburgh office, support service agencies for survivors aren’t experiencing a similar increase in demand.
“Many survivors are shut in with their children right now and with their abusers, and the opportunities for privacy and to reach out to service providers and to legal assistance providers has really been extraordinarily limited,” Legal Aid Society managing attorney Susan Gagnon said.
The society held a virtual town hall Friday afternoon to discuss how COVID-19 is affecting domestic violence victims. “On the calls we are still getting, we are hearing a lot of extreme violence involved in the abuse that our survivors are enduring at home,” Gagnon said. “We’re also hearing a lot about abusers utilizing the social distancing guidelines to control a survivor’s life, withholding children.”