NPR Interview on COVID-19 Orders of Protection

BMJRG Attorney Charles Mitchell recently did an interview with NPR Nashville's Natasha Senjanovic regarding the COVID-19 orders of protection in early December. 

According to the article, regarding domestic abuse:

A preferred option for seeking help, for many people, is the Family Safety Center. But that too has become more complicated in the pandemic.

The Family Safety Center’s Topinka said they’ve been open throughout the pandemic and are not turning anyone away, nor is the YWCA domestic violence shelter, to which the Center makes most of its referrals. Yet due to COVID, walk-ins are temporarily suspended at the Center. Clients can only come by appointment — and alone, without their children even.

That concerns attorney Charles Mitchell, who over the years has worked with many victims of chronic abuse.

“When people finally get the nerve to (say), ‘I’m done with it, he’s hit me for the last time,’ and they’ve shared that experience with maybe a girlfriend, a cousin or an aunt, that person says, ‘I’ll go with you, and I’ll be there by your side.’ (Now) the Family Safety Center will not allow support,” Mitchell said.

For anyone with children, particularly women, “that’s just another hurdle,’’ Mitchell said “If they can’t take their kids with them, what do they do? Leave them with the abuser?”

Yet another obstacle to staying safe is obtaining an order of protection, which Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich knows “is not the magic safety vest, by any stretch of the imagination. We’ve all as prosecutors handled too many cases where there was an order of protection in place and yet the worst thing happened. But it’s helpful in some instances.”

Read the full article at NPR Nashville here.

See the corresponding Daily Memphian article here.

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