SCRANTON, Pa. — We spoke with two domestic violence groups that serve our area. Leaders there want people to know that the governor's Stay at Home order because of the coronavirus does not mean you have to stay at home if that means staying in danger.
Peg Ruddy has worked at the Women's Resource Center in Scranton for 36 years, and in the past week, the calls to the help hotline have dropped dramatically.
"Which leads me to believe that women and men who are survivors of domestic violence are not able to reach out to us because they are stuck home with their abusers," said Ruddy.
Ruddy says there is still help available even though people are being urged to stay home to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. She urges anyone in an abusive situation to try to reach out for help.
"Survivors are very intuitive and creative, so get to a place where you can call us. You know, if you go to the grocery store or can get into the laundry room, give us a quick call."
The Women's Resource Center primarily serves Lackawanna and Susquehanna Counties, but if you call their hotline, they will connect you with a group in your area, like the Victims Resource Center, for example, based in Wilkes-Barre that serves Luzerne, Carbon, and Wyoming Counties.
"We are still there to offer support, we are still there to talk to people, and we can still offer support counseling on the telephone," said Suzanne Beck, who works with the Victims Resource Center.
Beck says even though you may feel trapped, there is support available. You don't have to feel helpless.
"It makes me feel sad because there really are still support services out there. Our 24-hour hotline is available, and we are strongly encouraging people to reach out. We don't want them to think they have to be alone during these times."
Women's Resource Center 24-hour hotline 800-257-5765
Victims Resource Center 24-hour hotline 570-823-0765
Domestic Violence Service Center 1-800-424-5600 or 570-823-7312