By Jim Williams

CHICAGO (CBS) —The COVID-19 lockdown has led to more domestic violence cases.

But CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports, victims have a discreet way to seek safety.

In the privacy of a home, domestic violence is often hidden from the outside world. And with more people at home for longer hours, because of the pandemic, domestic violence is skyrocketing.

That’s according to  Susan Shulman and Rebecca Weininger of the North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic which helps victims of domestic violence victims.

“We had heard nationally that there was an uptick of 25% in calls about domestic violence cases. What we’ve experienced at the clinic is actually an uptick of 44%. And I can tell you that all of my attorneys are at full capacity,” said Shulman.

“They’re reaching out despite the risk they might run by reaching out. That is terrifying,” added Weininger.

How do you minimize the risk of the abuser finding out the victim is seeking safety?

One solution is in, of all things, an online banana bread recipe. Embedded here, videos and direction. All discreet. A partnership between the Vernon Hills Library and the North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic.

The site’s only been up two weeks. The response so far?

“The response has been overwhelming,” Weininger said. “The traffic we’ve gotten has far outpaced what we expected.”

By going public, do Shulman and Weininger fear tipping off abusers?

“The more survivors, the victims that we reach, the better. The more lives we save, that eclipses the information falling into the wrong hands,” Weininger said. “It’s the people who don’t know about us that keep me up at night.”

The women added that abusers often don’t see themselves as abusers.

For more information, visit these websites:

www.NSLegalAid.org

www.BananaBreadHelp.com

 

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