Domestic violence rates are down, but not in the way experts want

Jacksonville, Fl. — A new nonprofit is working to help those impacted by domestic violence, specifically during the pandemic.

“There is help out there,” Kimberly Costner-Rones said. She is the founder of Annie’s House Safe Haven. It’s a non-profit advocating for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. While it does not have a permanent location just yet, its offering temporary shelter by means of hotel rooms. It also offers clothing and food.

Calls to domestic hotline services dropped in some regions by more than 50% in the U.S. for 2020. Experts said they do not believe the rate of intimate partner violence has dropped, but instead that victims were unable to safely connect with a services, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

“The calls have dropped for the fact that they can’t call,” Costner-Rones said “They can’t call. You have a perpetrator in your home.”

The rate of murder-suicide, in which a male partner kills a female and then himself, has risen since the same time last year, according to Johns Hopkins research. It recommends people get help through a number of means including an app called My Plan.

Costner-Rones said she also advocates for people to have some sort of plan, and to remember you are never alone.

To get in contact with Annie’s House Safe Haven, you can call 904-728-8977.