As courts close for the coronavirus, officials and advocates adjust to protect domestic violence victims

Stay-at-home orders keep us safe against the risk of infection, but for those suffering from domestic abuse they are no safe haven. The city of Philadelphia is working to let people know that services are still available despite the pandemic, although these services have had to adapt to the new circumstances. Some examples include special hotlines and FaceTime calls with judges for hearings. They also have a rotation of judges on call to deal with protection-from-abuse applications. There are also advocates and services outside the court system, like Philadelphia Legal Assistance.

This is a rapid response story about a coping strategy. Due to the urgent crisis, we are relaxing the ‘evidence of effectiveness’ criterion for solutions coverage on COVID-19 to capture early stage, improvisational, and experimental responses that cope with the pandemic.

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