COLUMBUS, Ohio — Domestic violence cases have reached a high during the COVID-19 pandemic with more people being isolated at home. Domestic violence centers in central Ohio tell 10TV that this is still a major issue.
“It's gotten worse for sure,” said Lynn Rosenthal, President of the Center for Family Safety & Healing. “There was a 10% increase of domestic violence during the pandemic here in Franklin County…and they've stayed up at higher levels.”
Kelly Mabra is a Westerville resident and said she is a survivor of domestic violence. She had to experience it all over again when her cousin Traci was choked to death this past weekend.
“Strangulation never came to mind, ever,” Mabra said. “Just hearing those words put chills in my body.
According to court documents, Douglas Revels admitted to police that he strangled Traci Dalton.
Traci’s family told 10TV her last name was Mabra and that Revels was Traci's boyfriend of less than a year.
Mabra said Traci was like a sister to her, and her death brings back chilling memories of her own near-death experience with domestic abuse 30 years ago.
“I had a concussion, I had scratches all over my face, I had a partially collapsed lung. I thought I was going to die,” Mabra said.
Mabra said she didn't see any signs of abuse in her case, or in her cousin's.
“I mean I didn't get any type of negative vibes from him He was just a laidback guy you know, smile, he was cool,” Mabra said describing Revels.
Lillian Howard, who is the director of clinical support services at LSS Choices in Columbus, said abusers often use charm to keep victims coming back and can even mislead friends and family.
“And they're thinking that this, this person is involved with a very supportive, loving individual when that is not what is happening behind closed doors in that relationship,” Howard said.
She warns to look out for partners who move too quickly.
“You meet an individual and all of a sudden, six months later, you're living with that person, or they're talking about getting married and having children and growing old together,” Howard said.
Other signs to look out for include isolation, economic, verbal and sexual abuse.
“Women are much more likely to be injured by an intimate partner, and they're far more likely to be killed by an intimate partner,” warned Rosenthal.
Experts said abuse is happening everywhere, not just in a specific location or socio-economic class.
“You can't say that it's just happening in London, or it's just happening on the west side, or it's just happening at Whitehall,” says Howard. “You need to know that someone is living on nearfield golf course. Okay, behind closed doors and a multi million dollar home. There is someone that's being abused in that home today,” Howard says.
If you or someone you know is in a dangerous situation, experts say call 911 right away. Other resources that are also available for you are also below:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-7-9-9- SAFE.
- Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio - (614) 228-4663