LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Help is here for victims in Colorado.
Candace Coolidge is the Executive Director of Porch Light, a family justice center designed to help victims of crimes ranging from domestic violence, human trafficking and elderly abuse. She says this is a need in the community.
"Not only do make make it easier for the victims to get them the health and services that they need in one place, tell their story one time, fill out one application for services," Coolidge said.
Cynthia Kornegay is a former victim of domestic violence, now working with Porch Light to help others in a situation she was once in.
"The cases rose over the year of Covid and were more violent cases during Covid," Kornegay said of domestic violence cases.
While the New England Journal of Medicine reports domestic violence calls dropped in some states by nearly 50%, the same report believes that number is deceiving, that victims were unable to safely connect with services. A United Nations report called the increase in domestic abuse during lockdown a "shadow pandemic".
"Fear can be a part of all of it that keeps us from seeking help. But also it’s just not knowing, it’s not understanding," Kornegay said.
Porch Light gives those who have suffered a place to turn. Their employees help victims cut through the red tape. Offering different health and civil services. They even help get protection orders from inside the building.
"They’re also able to hold a hearing with the judge here from Porch Light. The victim does not have to go to the quart room or the courthouse to get civil protection order they can come to Porch Light," Coolidge said.