Created: April 09, 2020 10:15 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said there’s a global surge in domestic violence amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here in New Mexico, the Bernalillo County Dispatch Center is trained for all emergency calls. Unfortunately, domestic violence calls aren’t unusual. A communications director for the county, Larry Gallegos, said from March 1 to March 15 there were about 30 calls.
From March 16 through March 31, he said there were about 45 calls . Gallegos said to compare these numbers to March of last year would be tough because of our current situation. But the state's stay-at-home order could play a role in an increase in domestic violence calls.
“With people staying at home and really being cooped up and not being able to go out just to have dinners or something like that, the chance or having unrest in the home goes up. It just does. It’s human nature,” Gallegos said.
If someone were to make a call for help, dispatchers need their best cooperation. They will ask for an address. Dispatchers can track a call but the location isn’t always exact. If possible, a caller can also give a phone number they can safely be reached at.
Dispatchers will also ask other questions. Callers might not understand why they’re relevant, but dispatchers need any extra information to pass on to first responders so they can approach the scenario as safely as possible.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, click here to find a full list of local resources.
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