LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) -A non-profit organization is still fulfilling its mission of helping people who have experienced abuse.
They say that they have had an increase of crisis calls during the coronavirus pandemic and want the community to know that they are available 24-7.
“We’re working really hard to not prevent services especially with the services we provide we want to make sure people are safe during this time because things can certainly be heightened,” said Mathews.
Marie Detty New Directions provides free services to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking. Program Director, Kerrie Mathews said there can be an increase of abuse when people are at home.
“If you’re doing what is being asked of us is shelter at home then there’s way to get around. People have lost their jobs, they can’t go to their jobs right now, so all of that compounds on top of other issues going on within the home, or within the family, and it’s not the safest place for people in an abusive relationship," said Mathews.
Sergeant Timothy Jenkins urges anyone who is in an abusive situation to call the police.
“We don’t want anything like that to occur. We don’t want anybody getting assaulted physically, so if that does happen we’re still active, we’re still out, we’re still roaming our neighborhoods, we’re still protecting our zones, watching our community, talking to people," said SGT. Jenkins.
Mathews said they are here to provide counseling, housing, case management, and re-location services. Anything to keep someone safe.
“It’s dangerous so getting people to understand that when someone is telling you that they are in an abusive relationship, and they feel afraid and fear for their life that that is real and so our goal is to try and help as many people as we can. Just letting people know that when they’re ready, we’re going to be here to provide the services," Mathews.
New Directions offers a 24-7 hotline. Although the courthouse is closed to the public, they are still available for emergencies such as getting a protective order. All you have to do is file a police report.