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Domestic abuse calls spiking during COVID-19 pandemic, Utah nonprofit says

(Mike Anderson, KSL TV)


1 photo

LOGAN — A nonprofit organization that helps domestic abuse victims is seeing some of their highest numbers ever for help.

COVID-19 is playing a major role in the increased demand and how the Citizens Against Physical and Sexual Abuse (CAPSA) serves clients.

Getting people help and refuge from domestic abuse is already a tough order for CAPSA.

“We’ve just seen phenomenal growth increases in the number of people requesting help,” said CAPSA executive director Jill Anderson.

Anderson said the number of people asking for help in Cache and Rich counties was higher than it has ever been.

“I’ve never seen a time like this. I’ve been with the organization for more than 25 years and have never seen the demand the way it is,” she said.

CAPSA has had to reduce its capacity by half due to COVID-19 restrictions. That means the nonprofit can use only 16 beds.

More than half of the people CAPSA recently sheltered have been sent out to area hotels.

Anderson said they hit an all-time high last week, helping about 47 people each night.

“A lot of people are being furloughed or losing jobs or were just simply worrying about becoming sick and so abusers use that fear to gain further control over victims,” she said.

Calls to their helpline have more than doubled. The Real Salt Lake Foundation helped by purchasing a fourplex for the charity, but the high-demand continued.


I’ve been with the organization for more than 25 years and have never seen the demand the way it is.

–Jill Anderson, CAPSA


“It has really put a tremendous strain on our organization,” Anderson said.

That also means staff members were working extra hours and implementing technology to help where possible.

“I think we handled it really well. The message that I want to get out to survivors is — if you need our help, please call. We can do it in a safe way and we’re here to support you,” said Anderson.

Jill Anderson, CAPSA executive director, Monday, June 22, 2020. (Photo: Mike Anderson, KSL TV)
Jill Anderson, CAPSA executive director, Monday, June 22, 2020. (Photo: Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

With those higher than normal numbers expected to continue, they could use the help from the community, possibly now more than ever.

While CAPSA could use help with cleaning supplies and masks right now, its biggest need is for financial support*.

Domestic violence resources

*Disclaimer: KSL.com has not verified the accuracy of the information provided with respect to the account nor does KSL.com assure that the monies deposited will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit or donation you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Mike Anderson

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