According to Julie Haden, Resolve Family Abuse program director Boone County has seen a 75% decrease in reported domestic violence cases from this time last year. While the statistic may appear positive, professionals say the case amount is misleading.
Haden says numbers in surrounding counties dropped from 1,290 in 2019 to 428 in the same months of 2020.
Haden asserts COVID-19 is the cause, as most people fear to report their abuser if they are quarantined with them. It also creates a barrier as most in-person meetings are not possible at this time.
The Resolve Family Abuse Program has used social media and 24/7 call and text lines to connect with people in need.
Sheriff Chad Barker with the Boone County Sheriff's Office reports his office has made multiple domestic abuse arrests already this year. Barker said he wants to spread awareness of the issue, and the help available.
Some helpful phone numbers for those in a domestic abuse situation:
West Virginia statewide toll-free number - 1-800-681-8663
Charleston area crisis line – 304-340-2549