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CADA’s services available during COVID-19 pandemic

NEW ULM — During the COVID-19 pandemic, in south central Minnesota and around the world, domestic violence cases are increasing, said a press release from the Committee Against Domestice Abuse (CADA).

In response to COVID-19 and increased barriers victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence may experience in reaching out to an advocate for help, CADA has expanded communication options for victims to use, said the press release.

As victims of violence are quarantined or trapped at home with an abusive partner, it may be challenging to find the privacy to call CADA for help, said the release. To reach out to CADA for help, people can:

• Call the 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-477-0466

• Text 507-223-4200

• Email outreachgroup@cadamn.org

• Chat online at www.cadamn.org

Many victims and survivors are experiencing increased hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, said the press release.

“We know that (stay-at-home order) is going to put more stress on relationships and that relationship violence is likely to increase,” said Jason Mack, CADA’s Executive Director. “It becomes a lot harder for people to reach out when they’re at home all the time with the person who is abusing them.”

CADA advocates across the nine-county region are offering phone appointments to everyone, said the press release. If phone meetings are not an option, advocates can meet in-person at CADA offices and take necessary health and safety precautions. CADA’s shelter in Mankato remains open.

Area police departments are reporting increasing number of domestic violence calls, said the press release. CADA’s crisis line has also been receiving a greater number of calls and the requests for shelter have increased, said the release. Crisis line advocates report that victims calling the crisis line feel more helpless and note that their abusive partner is using COVID-19 to be more controlling and manipulative. Victims also say they are unable to stay with friends or family as they have in the past because of social distancing measures.

It is important for everyone to know that the stay-at- home order does not prevent people from relocating to ensure their safety, said the release. Staying home does not have to mean staying in an unsafe home.

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