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Local sexual assault crisis hotline sees call increase during coronavirus

Some are feeling increasingly isolated as they stay at home

Increased calls to sexual assault hotline amid coronavirus outbreak
Increased calls to sexual assault hotline amid coronavirus outbreak

ROANOKE, Va. – Laura Guilliams is the crisis services director for Sexual Assault Response and Awareness organization in Roanoke.

She says calls to the organization's crisis hotline have increased since people are staying at home more.

“Mostly what we’re seeing is people who are not necessarily in unsafe situations at this very moment, but that are survivors of sexual assault who are finding this isolation difficult,” Guilliams explained.

But, if you do find yourself in an unsafe situation?

“Each individual is the expert in their own circumstances, so I encourage people to do what they believe and what they feel is safest and in their own best interest," Guilliams said.

Guilliams said the coronavirus has also increased fear and anxiety for people who have cases working their way through the court system.

“Things are being delayed even more so than we originally anticipated, not really clear on what that means for their case," said Guilliams.

Calls to SARA's crisis hotline have increased during the coronavirus pandemic. (WSLS)

An issue that, like that virus, likely isn’t going to go away any time soon.