U.S. cities including Phoenix and Houston are seeing changes in their domestic violence rates as the COVID-19 cases rise nationwide.
Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced Thursday that they’d donated a joint $4.2 million grant to the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles to directly benefit domestic violence victims in LA.
According to Billboard, the Los Angeles Housing Authority reported approximately 90 people per week have been turned away from full domestic violence shelters in LA. This has been taking place since the Safer At Home order was issued. The funds donated on behalf of Rihanna and Dorsey will equate to approximately $125 a day.
Broken down the $125 a day will provide “10 weeks of shelter, meals and counseling for 90 domestic violence victims per week,” reports Billboard. Additionally, 90 more victims will be assisted following the previously mentioned 10 week period.
Four days ago an NBC News report pointed out that domestic violence rates have risen as the nation has been struck by a high number of COVID-19 cases. The reason behind this being that victims are being quarantined with their abusive partners.
18 law enforcement departments in the U.S. have seen a rise in domestic violence calls in March. Houston received 300 more calls in March than it saw in February, a 20% increase. While police in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina received 517 additional calls. Over in Phoenix, there were nearly 200 more calls.
Another shocking piece of news is the fact that shelters for victims are struggling to find ways to stay open. NBC News’ report also shared many operate at near capacity and “sometimes turn to local hotels to house families when they run out of space.” Numerous nonprofit shelters have reportedly canceled or shut down fundraisers due to looming stay-at-home orders.
Undoubtedly, Rihanna and Dorsey’s grant will affect countless lives. But, the donation seems to be somewhat of a band aid as domestic violence will still affect the aforementioned communities as stay-at-home orders become a norm for the U.S. for months to come.
Source: NBC News
Robyn Mowatt is a staff writer at Okayplayer where she covers culture, music, and fashion. You can see what's on her mind @robyn_mowatt.