The Family Crisis Intervention Center raises awareness in October

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) – “We think it’s important to raise awareness of who we are, that we’re here, we’re here to support people and help guide them through this To make it a little safer for them,” says Family Crisis Response Center Executive Director Emily Larkins.

In October, the executive director of the Family Crisis Intervention Center, Emily Larkins, said the facility was working to raise awareness of the problem of domestic violence.

Larkins says it’s a problem that affects men, women and children.

And the center is adapting to meet the needs of those seeking help.

“And so whether you’re male or female, we try to identify or help identify what they might need,” Larkins says. “Make sure they are safe, comfortable and keep the situation confidential. And then we move from there.

Larkins says the center is seeing an increase in cases since the pandemic.

Many customers use other methods to request help.

“We are in a rural state. Many of our programs and offices are in rural communities,” says Larkins. “And so, individuals were seeking our services in perhaps a different way than before. Using social media, using email, using the hotline or telephone to contact our staff.”

The center reports almost three thousand contacts, more than 10 thousand hours of direct service and more than two thousand calls to the hotline.

Larkins and other officials believe the number of cases is much higher for something she says is already underreported.

“So not only is it generally underreported, but with the pandemic making that worse, I think it’s really become even more underreported,” Larkins says.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, call 1-800-799-7233 for the National Domestic Helpline.

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