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Utah sees big increase in calls for help to escape domestic abuse situations

CAPSA beds for those seeking refuge from domestic violence. Photo courtesy KSL-TV.

LOGAN, UT – The number of people reaching out for help to escape an abusive situation is surging, according to a Utah non-profit. They attribute the increase to the pandemic, between more people being out of work, people being home together and just general added stresses. 

The organization there to help

Citizens Against Physical and Sexual Abuse (CAPSA) is seeing a huge increase in demand for help. KSL-TV spoke to CAPSA executive director Jill Anderson. 

“I’ve never seen a time like this. I’ve been with the organization for more than 25 years and have never seen the demand the way it is,” Anderson said.

CAPSA serves Cache and Rich counties and the numbers are skyrocketing. However, at the same time, they have had to reduce their building occupancy by half due to COVID-19. So, the organization in a bind trying to meet the extra demand. They are reduced to only 16 beds. Over half the people that have needed help from CAPSA have had to be placed in hotels. 

Last week, CAPSA helped over 47 people per night, the highest Anderson has never seen. She went on to explain why. 

“A lot of people are being furloughed or losing jobs or were just simply worrying about becoming sick and so abusers use that fear to gain further control over victims,” she said.

Help for the non-profit

The Real Salt Lake Foundation donated a fourplex to CAPSA to help with the shortage of beds for those seeking refuge. Unfortunately with the loss of beds and extra demand, this doesn’t resolve the dilemma for the organization.

“It has really put a tremendous strain on our organization,” Anderson said.

Staffers are working extra hours trying to make sure the community is served. The need for help for the community is higher than ever. Their biggest need is donations. They are also needing cleaning supplies and masks.

Domestic violence resources

    • Utah Domestic Violence Coalition operates a confidential statewide, 24-hour domestic abuse hotline at 1-800-897-LINK (5465). Resources are also available online:

Help for people in abusive relationships can be found by contacting:

*Disclaimer: has not verified the accuracy of the information provided with respect to the account nor does assure that the monies deposited will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit or donation you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.