COVID being partly blamed for rise in domestic violence

The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office says deputies are responding to more domestic violence calls this year than last year. They note 2020 was up 14% over the year before.

Police say the pandemic has a lot to do with it. More of us cooped up inside together for longer periods of time has led to more violent confrontations.

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It’s often a problem that’s kept behind closed doors. Domestic violence, sometimes referred to as relationship abuse, has grown over the past two years. The Saratoga County Sheriff’s office blames the increase, at least in part, on the pandemic.

Wellspring, the charity that responds to the needs of domestic violence victims, fears they will see even more people reaching out for help when the pandemic is over, that people who feel trapped now will be more likely to come forward when they’re not as worried about their children, or losing their job to COVID.

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However, Wellspring is well suited to meet the demand. They have a brand new 8,000 square foot facility in the woods off Route 9 in Malta. It’s a place where victims, and their children can be comforted, counseled and get the care and services they need.

"I predict that when the health curve truly flattens, that’s when we will see our curve hit its peak, because that’s when people will feel that, ‘Oh, I can leave now.’ They might say, ‘Oh I can get housing. I can count on my job being there, so I can support my family if I left,’" said Maggie Fronk, the Executive Director of Wellspring.

Fronk says she wants people to know that they don’t have to wait, that there’s help now.

Learn about how police handle domestic violence calls a little differently by watching the video of Mark Mulholland’s story.

MORE INFORMATION: Capital Region domestic violence resources | National Coalition Against Domestic Violence