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Seattle Police warn of domestic violence upswing during COVID-19 restrictions

Thursday morning at a Central District apartment building, a Seattle Fire crew was called out for a reported strangulation. Seattle Police officers were at the scene responding to a domestic violence call.

The incident is part of what Seattle Police say has been an increase in domestic violence incidents across the city as the COVID-19 social distancing restrictions drag on.

“Over the last month, the Seattle Police Department has seen a 21% increase in reported domestic violence,” SPD said in a message posted about the increase this week. “If you need help, officers and the Victim Support Team are just a phone call or text message away.”

Seattle officers typically respond to more than 100 domestic violence incidents a month.

SPD’s message encourages those who need help to call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 800-799-7233 or 800-787-3224 (TTY).

You can also call or text 911 in an emergency. Police say you should provide your exact location and type of help you need in your first message so dispatchers can send out officers immediately.

You can learn more about SPD’s Victim Support Team here.

“While everyone has been urged to stay home to stop the spread of COVID-19, we also know home may not be safe for many adults and children experiencing domestic violence,” the SPD statement reads. “Social distancing can magnify the feelings of isolation domestic violence survivors may already be experiencing. Reaching out to support friends, family, and neighbors can be incredibly helpful.”

There are also county hotlines staffed 24×7 — the Domestic Abuse Women’s Network at 425-656-7867 and LifeWire at 800-827-8840.

Here is more from LifeWire about the COVID-19 situation and domestic abuse and how you can help the organization.


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