State sees spike in calls to hotlines for domestic violence

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Phone calls to emergency hotlines for domestic violence have spiked in the state of Virginia as people stay at home during the coronavirus epidemic.

The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk reported Sunday that calls to hotlines increased by 76% statewide in March. That's according to the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance. The group compiles data on shelter services for 65 facilities.

The alliance also said that about 1,000 people have sought overnight shelter from domestic violence.

Shelters are also having to adjust operations because of the virus. For instance, hotel rooms are being used to house more people. But that is straining budgets. In-person support groups are also being canceled, although people are often able to call for counseling.