Domestic violence agency sees uptick in calls, victims can still get protective orders despite court closures

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – For people in domestic violence situations, there are still ways to get a protective order despite courts across the state closing to the public because of COVID-19.

Victims of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault can apply for emergency protective orders through sheriff’s offices or police departments.

The agency will contact the court to issue an emergency protective order.
Kristy Stewart, the executive director of the Norman Women’s Resource Center, says there was an uptick in calls for service at center when the pandemic started.
“We saw an immediate spike, our calls tripled, they’ve leveled off a little bit, but we expect it to keep going up and down,” she said.
Because many people are stuck at home, it can be especially difficult for victims of abuse.
“For people who are in a domestic violence situation, they really need to be looking at their space and seeing if there’s a way to put some distance between themselves and the abusers,” Stewart said.
She says unfortunately, many domestic violence shelters are full at this time.
“If [victims] have a family member or someone they can be with safely until they can get into shelter, I would recommend they do that,” she said.
However, anyone who really needs help can still get it.

“We’ve talked with our local law enforcement and told them, if it’s a life or death situation, and they need to come in, we’ll find space,” Stewart said.

She says the Norman Women’s Resource Center has limited the number of staff members per shift to encourage distancing amid the pandemic. They’re also doing extra disinfecting. They aren’t doing walk-in appointments right now, but you can still call them if you need help.

Their phone numbers can be found here.

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