Advocates detail ‘shadow pandemic’ of violence against women

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Advocates who work in Indigenous communities in New Mexico and on the Navajo Nation say cases of domestic violence increased over the past year.

They pointed to the pressures of the coronavirus pandemic, saying lockdowns and stay-at-home orders made it difficult for victims to access help and forced advocacy groups and social workers to be more creative when finding solutions.

Their testimony came Tuesday during a virtual summit on ending violence against Indigenous women and children.

Tribal leaders and officials from around the state are participating in the two-day event.

Some expressed hope about the potential of the federal government doubling funding to address the problem.