PORTLAND, Maine — Stopping the spread of coronavirus means spending more time cooped up inside and away from the public. A shelter-in-place mandate could make victims of domestic violence feel trapped, and in many cases, stuck close-by to their abusers.

The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence wants to remind victims in the state that despite orders to stay home in some areas, help is available at all times - including now.

"People who feel in danger should know that all of the resources that are available to you are still available to you," said Francine Stark, the executive director of the MCEDV. "You can call law enforcement. You can petition at the court. You can call our advocates. All the people that stand ready to help you during a crisis are still there for you."

In 2019, MCEDV helped 13,759 Mainers through bad situations, which is about 500 people a day, according to Stark. She said now might be a good time to go to another place for shelter that's safe for yourself and your family.

“If you have friends or a family member that you feel safest staying with then perhaps this is time to decide to shelter with those folks for a while so you have so that you have support,” said Stark.

Maine courts will remain open for critical services, which include emergency protection orders for victims of domestic or dating abuse, sexual assault, stalking or other forms of harassment.

The Maine Crisis Hotline is open 24-hours a day for crisis resolution and action planning. A family member or friend can call on someone else's behalf. If you find yourself in immediate danger call 911.

The Maine Crisis Hotline (888) 568-1112 

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At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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