OMAHA, Neb. — As the pandemic lingers, victims of domestic abuse are at greater risk. It's Domestic Abuse Awareness Month and 3 News Now spoke with the CEO of The Women's Center for Advancement (WCA), Jannette Taylor. She says the organization's experience mirror what is going on nationally.
"Sometimes when people are fleeing a domestic violence situation they leave with nothing other than the shirt on their back. We are trying to support them from starting completely over to get them self-sufficient," Taylor said.
Increased stress due to isolation, job loss and housing insecurity led to an increase in the number of victims seeking help from the WCA.
"When we were working remote last year we had staff doing everything they could to get to clients. They were meeting them in grocery store parking lots, giving them cell phones they could use to call us, communicate with us, communicate with the police," continued Taylor.
WCA also saw people asking for basic items, something it doesn't usually provide but found a way to help.
"We are working with people who are essentially homeless and these are victims of domestic violence that we are trying to connect them with services, provide housing. If you are under quarantine with an abuser it just exasperates the issue and a lot of victims are seeing an increase in violence because of it," added Taylor.
Twenty-seven thousand phone calls have come into the center in the past year, a 40% increase. The WCA loves helping people and found a way, but the increase is bittersweet.
"It's a horrible thing to have it increase, but I do feel good about people having the confidence in our organization to reach out to us for help," said Taylor.
The center also provides counseling, advocacy, job placement and legal services. All of which are free for clients. She says they are also always in need of volunteers.
You can also help by participating in an upcoming fundraiser on Friday, October, 15 at 6 p.m. at Champions Run
on 13800 Eagle Run Dr.
For more information: wcaomaha.org