WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – As people return to school and in-person work, it is bringing a sense of normalcy.
“Just because we’ve gotten the vaccine which is amazing, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all the stress is gone,” said Amanda Meyers, executive director of the Wichita Family Crisis Center.
The pandemic brought a lot of stress and isolation, contributing to a rise in domestic violence cases.
“What we saw with the pandemic was really an increase in the severity of injuries,” Meyers said. “Again, I think because people were unwilling to reach out until it was desperate.”
The Wichita Family Crisis Center is noticing an uptick in people reaching out.
“It’s a good thing that they’re finally feeling safe enough to be able to reach out to get medical help,” Meyers said. “For example, you know, people were terrified to go to the hospital. So, now they’re willing to reach out if something happens.”
As people have more face-to-face interaction, it gives an opportunity for everyone to check in on each other, notice signs, and reach out for help.
Meyers is warning people to be vigilant with teens and young adults.
“They want to be back and they want to be out and they want to be having a lot of fun, but sometimes that can get a little bit into the danger area when it comes to dating relationships and things going from zero to 60 especially, when it comes to power and control issues.”
The staff at school being a huge help at noticing the signs.
“I think the increase in calls and traffic that we’re seeing is for that reason because the nurses, the teachers are a frontline of defense,” Myers said. “Whether it’s because those students are in an abusive dating situation or perhaps they’re the child of domestic violence.”
If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Locally, you can find resources and support from the Wichita Family Crisis Center by calling the 24/7 Crisis Line at 316-267-SAFE. You can visit the center’s website by clicking here.