Mar 11, 2021
These days, you can get by without ever leaving your home – which is a nightmare for victims battling domestic abuse or sexual assault. A recent Time report calls domestic abuse within the larger pandemic the “shadow pandemic”. Backed by data, Jeffrey Kluger’s reporting points out that U.S. police departments are reporting increases in domestic abuse calls in the double-digits. Only when the lockdown restrictions lift, will the full scope of its impact on in-home violence be known. This week, we’re celebrating International Women’s Day and shining the “On Crisis” spotlight on a non-profit victim service agency in one of the most rural parts of America -- Pennsylvania’s mountain country. Called CAPSEA, its small but mighty staff led by Billie Jo Weyant has been pummeled with steep surges in crisis calls, shelter placement needs and trauma therapy as mostly women and children battle an increase in domestic abuse and sexual assault. Founded 40 years ago, we talk with Billie Jo about how the pandemic has stretched her agency’s resources and the opportunity within this reality to tell its heroic story of helping victims live a safe and healthy life.