District Attorney Advocates for Abuse Victims During Stay at Home Orders
Sheriff Bill Brown and District Attorney Joyce Dudley
By edhat staff
Local leaders held a press conference Tuesday advocating for victims of abuse during the statewide stay at home order due to the coronavirus.
District Attorney Joyce Dudley, Sheriff Bill Brown, and County Fire Chief Mark Hartwig emphasized the importance of coming together as a community to watch out for our most vulnerable.
Dudley stated within the first week of the stay at home order, there was a 21% increase in domestic abuse calls. In the second week, there was a steep drop. She believes people are experiencing elevated levels of in-home abuse: Domestic Violence, Spousal Rape, Child Abuse, Elder Abuse and Animal Abuse, and it's being grossly under-reported with lives at stake.
"I've been doing this week for 30 years, the only reason its dropping is because people aren't reporting because they're at home and terrified," said Dudley. She went on to explain that seeing fewer calls only makes officials more alarmed.
Dudley is encouraging victims or witnesses to call 911 to report any abuse as this is local law enforcement's highest priority. In situations where they cannot call 911, she urged them to call a District Attorney Victim/Witness Advocate at 805-568-2400.
Now, more than ever, family, friends, neighbors, colleagues and even strangers must pay attention and report any concerns they have, she said.
Sheriff Brown echoed these statements by asking the community to support and protect one another. He encouraged residents to call 911 for abuse in progress or if it just occurred, or else contact Sheriff's Dispatch at 805-683-2724.
"Relationship abuse is unacceptable in any form, we must all do our part to be aware of and stop abuse in the home," said Brown.
- Sheriff Dispatch: 805-683-2724
- DA Victim/Witness Advocate: 805-568-2400
- Informational Hotline: 211 or 800-400-1572
- Santa Barbara Behavioral Wellness: 888-868-1649
- Community Wellness Team: 805-364-2750