CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Researchers at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi looked into the rise of unreported domestic abuse cases and found out how the coronavirus pandemic has had an impact.
"Domestic violence is rising partly because of the pandemic," said Frances Wilson, the president of The Purple Door organization.
However, Wilson said even though they witnessed an increase in cases, they've had less people reach out to them for services.
"Victims have such a hard time reaching out anyway and now we have this next layer that they have to get through," said Wilson.
TAMU-CC released a research article in hopes of bringing awareness to community members and asking them to be more vigilant for their neighbors.
"It's not just law enforcement, its not just these nonprofits or government agencies; in order for us to address the issue, we've all got to work together," said Deborah Sibila, an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at TAMU-CC and co-author of the research article.
Sibila said essential workers like mail carriers and sanitation workers are more than just essential to the workforce, but are also essential to the victims of domestic abuse.
"They're trapped, unable to report, unable to get out of the house to even notify," said Sibila.
She also emphasized that in some cases, interactions with those workers are the only interactions they have on a daily basis.
"It's community wide, you heard it takes a village to raise a child, well it takes a village to help these women and abused children."
However, Sibila said even though they're asking community members to help where they can, they're not encouraging them to enter unsafe situations.
"We're not telling you to put yourself in danger but reach out to perhaps law enforcement or social organizations that deals in this type of situation," said Sibila.
The Purple Door organization offers a training model for anyone who wants to learn more about how to support survivors and implement change. You can find more information here.