The silent epidemic thriving amid the COVID-19 crisis—domestic violence

Coronavirus has not only created a lot of fear experts say it has also promoted a lot of hidden domestic violence.

One Bay Area woman defied the odds by breaking generations of domestic violence in her own family.

All too often a stay-at-home order is a sentence for more abuse.

Clothing designer and online retailer Erika Dailey, a now happily married mother of two, has come a long way from the not so happy days of her own her mother's, and her grandmother's. 

"She was murdered by her boyfriend in Oakland some years back. My mother is a survivor as well as myself," said Dailey.

For eight years, Dailey has gone from hats to five lines of clothing, all retailed online. 

"We just believe in confidence based clothing. So, bringing awareness in what we wear and how we feel is most important," said Dailey.

She hosts events, get-togethers, seminars, speeches, and an annual march for domestic violence victims, victimized even further now that they are sequestered often with their abusers.

 "Don't be quiet. This is, as well as the coronavirus, a silent epidemic, pandemic. It's global," said Dailey. 

UCLA studied how coronavirus stay-at-home orders affected domestic violence in two very different locations— Los Angles and Indianapolis. 

"Calls for service for domestic violence went substantially up in the immediate period right afterward," said UCLA Research Anthropologist, Professor Jeffrey Brantingham. 

In the month of April, the Sacramento Regional Family Justice Center filed 72 temporary restraining orders on behalf of domestic violence victims. That is triple what the Center filed in April of last year. 

"The more time you spend with an abuser the more likely that is going to translate into an adverse event," said Brantingham.

COVID-19 has made it much harder for government and domestic violence advocates to get help to those who need it. 

"We're all working with fewer resources and the way services are being provided are also different. We might be doing them by phone," said La Casa de las Madres Director Kathy Black. 

With abusers already traditionally isolating their victims from help and support, they now use the virus itself against them. 

"If you go out, you're gonna get COVID, you're gonna bring it back into the house. I can't let you back in," said Black.

Victims must build up the courage to risk the virus and seek real help. 

"If there's something in your heart to build, do it," said Dailey, O'la Couture founder.