“One Pandemic Inside a Pandemic:” Home Violence Incidents Improve Throughout COVID-19 Pandemic – CBS Pittsburgh
Warning: This article contains descriptions of domestic violence and may be difficult to read for some.
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A recent article published in the New England Journal of Medicine called domestic violence “one pandemic within a pandemic” last year.
Nicole Molinaro, president and CEO of the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, says the rise in domestic violence in Allegheny County is keeping pace with the rise in the United States.
“At many different times, the world appears to be out of control during the pandemic,” she said. “Unfortunately for someone with a tendency to use abuse for control, this can really be a trigger.”
According to the National Coalition against Domestic Violence, one in three women and one in four men has experienced “some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.”
Danielle Krout, a former news reporter in Johnstown, is one of them.
A successful and smiling reporter in front of the camera, Krout experienced a cycle of abuse by her now ex-husband at home.
“When it came to dealing with domestic violence cases, it always hit me because no one on the other side of the screen knew I was covering up bruises myself,” said Krout.
The abuse was a secret that came to light in 2016 when Krout’s husband cracked her skull and tried to strangle her. She was 26 weeks pregnant with her second child.
“I have a scar on my head that I will have for the rest of my life,” she said. “It’s a constant reminder, but my son was born healthy. My daughter is healthy. “
Now divorced and on the other side of seemingly endless and nerve-wracking court hearings, Krout turned to legal work. She founded the Danielle Krout non-profit organization and the Family Domestic Violence Awareness Fund.
The organization advocates domestic violence and supports aid programs.
She wants everyone in an abusive relationship to know that there is hope.
“If you go away, do it and do it fully,” she said. “Don’t go back. Do not look back. “
Krout also draws attention to the judicial process for victims of domestic violence, which she believes can often be very boring, painful and unfair.
Now that domestic violence has increased over the past year, Krout has been concerned about those who are currently in abusive relationships.
“What I fear for the victims right now is where they can get help?”
Molinaro adds that the pandemic has forced some victims to isolate themselves with their abusers and move away from their support systems, potentially making it difficult for them to seek help.
However, she says there are always opportunities for victims to come forward.
“Whether you are trying to use a text or a chat line like the Women’s Center and many other domestic violence programs,” Molinaro said. “Whether you contact a neighbor or a friend who can then call a hotline.”
The domestic violence hotline can be reached at 1-800-799-7233.
Live chat is also available on their website.
To reach the Greater Pittsburgh Women’s Center and Animal Shelter, call the 24-hour helpline at 412-687-8005 or send a text message to 412-744-8445.