YWCA sees increase in domestic violence calls amid COVID-19 outbreak

Posted at 5:52 AM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 07:07:13-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — One mid-state organization is seeing more domestic violence calls after Mayor John Cooper ordered the “Safer at Home” ordinance to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The YWCA says they’ve seen a more than 50% increase in calls. They say this is a reminder that not everyone is safer at home.

Now, organizers are taking steps to make sure its shelters are protected. They are doing that by social distancing, taking temperatures and using face masks. If someone has symptoms, staffers use telemedicine to see if they need to take the person to an assessment center for Coronavirus testing.

Sharon Roberson, the CEO of the YWCA of Middle Tennessee, says some people have two Crises to battle COVID-19 and domestic violence.

“We stand ready every day and now more than ever to help victims of domestic violence,” Sharon Roberson said. “We find it unacceptable for anyone to have to choose to stay in a violent unsafe environment, because they are sick, or may become sick.”

Staffers want to stress that help is only call or text away. If you need information, call 1-800-334-4628 or text 615-983-5170.


See all our coronavirus coverage here


What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV)and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.


The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.