Isolation brought growing concerns about domestic abuse. These Pittsburgh-area groups innovated to keep lifelines open.

Nicole Molinaro, president and CEO of Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, said the pandemic has worsened domestic abuse. Organizations like hers have responded by adapting their services. (Photo by Quinn Glabicki/PublicSource)

by Atiya Irvin-Mitchell, PublicSource

People experiencing domestic violence found themselves isolated in startling new ways during the pandemic, while the organizations dedicated to serving them raced to assist them in a world that required distance.

In the early months of quarantine, hotlines through which people seek help were troublingly silent. The pandemic didn’t stop domestic violence, but it did make it more dangerous to reach out for help.

The pandemic, however, did encourage local organizations that serve individuals experiencing abuse in the city and county to collaborate with institutions they might not ordinarily, to update their methods of outreach and to think of new ways to make their services and support accessible. Most organizations plan to keep


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