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Columbus Now Offers Texting Service For Domestic Violence Survivors

Columbus Police cruiser vehicle
Adora Namigadde

As Ohio's stay-at-home order continues, Columbus Police reports that domestic violence calls are on the rise. That's spurred the Columbus City Attorney to start offering a texting service to help victims.

Starting this week, domestic violence survivors can reach the City Attorney office’s domestic violence & stalking unitby sending a text message to 614-653-8075. Callers must provide their name, when it’s safe to communicate, and an email or phone number. 

“We wanted to make sure that victims of domestic violence, while they are sheltering in place sometimes with their abusers, we want them to know that help and hope is still available,” says City Attorney Zach Klein.

Klein says Columbus Police reported in March a 19% increase in domestic violence calls. Police also blame three homicides in three weeks on domestic abusers.

“Some folks are in abusive, emotional, psychological, and physical relationships and are not calling 911, and are trapped in their homes within earshot of their abusers,” Klein says. “They may not be able to get away to call the 24-hour hotline.”

Klein says the new texting service will also bridge a gap to millennials needing help.

“There’s a whole new group, unfortunately, of burgeoning victims who are younger in demographic that simply their means of communication isn’t calling, it is texting,” Klein says. “So, modernizing our office to not only adapt to the pandemic, but also recognizing technological changes is important to getting victims help as soon as possible."

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, call 614-224-4663 or send a text to 614-653-8075.

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.