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Quarantine and domestic violence: what to do in an abusive situation

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- In his daily teleconference Monday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said domestic violence calls in the state went up over the weekend. "One of the things I saw this weekend that's troubling and we need to talk about this, two-thirds of the police calls over the weekend were domestic violence related," he said.

However, in Rochester, that hasn't been the case. Capt. Scott Behrns of the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office said, "We have more than our fair share of domestic violence calls all the time, we haven't seen a large increase in the number of calls since the stay-at-home order went into effect."

Two service centers are still open for those seeking resources. Olmsted County Victim Services and the Rochester Women's Shelter both have 24-hour hotlines and programs to help.

Artyce Thomas, Executive Director of the Women's Shelter said, "If anyone would find themselves in a situation that is unsafe or abusive in any manner that individual would just have to reach out to us. We are still here, 24 hours per day, seven days per week. We have modified some scheduling and some services but we are still here providing life saving essential services to the community."

Behrns's advice to those who are in an abusive situation is, "If you're actively involved in a domestic violence situation as a victim, you need to call 911. We are still out there doing our job. We will respond to the scene and help by whatever means necessary."

But above all else, Thomas says, "I just want everyone to know, that they do not have to remain in an unsafe situation due to the quarantine or the stay-at-home order I guess I should say. I just want folks to know that we are still here."

Victim Services of Olmsted County's hotline is (507) 289-0636. The Rochester Women's Shelter's hotline is (507) 285-1010. Both are available 24/7 for those who need help to seek it. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

Zach Fuller

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