RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Advocates in the Triad worry the number of people struggling with domestic violence in rural areas could be higher than they realize.
“It’s very undignified when everyone knows your business,” said Sondra Phelps, community outreach team coordinator with Family Services of the Piedmont.
Phelps and other advocates worry the fear, shame and chance of running in to someone you know in a small community keeps people from reporting.
“You’re more likely to know the people you’re engaging with for those resources, and you could have…your friend come in to work with you as an advocate,” Phelps said.
The Randolph County Family Crisis Center says can it be as issue, but clinics have procedures in place to keep people anonymous.
They also bridge the gap with anonymous reporting methods through a text crisis line and Facebook messaging.
“We see people on some of their toughest days of their lives, and we aren’t going to do anything to add to that,” said Alexis Brown, a social worker with the Randolph County Family Crisis Center. “If home isn’t safe, the crisis center is.”
According to Brown, many of their clients have trouble getting to the crisis center because of a lack of public transportation.
“If they’re local, they can walk, but that’s not always an option either,” Brown said.
They see anywhere from 12 to 17 new clients every week, and the number doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
Davie County leaders are bridging the gap by getting more resources in the community.
The Center for Violence Prevention created a community response team of advocates to respond to calls and issues involving domestic violence and assault.
They bring resources to victims to hopefully get them out of unsafe situations sooner.
“If someone is treating you not as well as you ought to be treated, if home is not safe, we’re here,” Brown said.