COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Ohio Hispanic Coalition is seeing a steady rise in domestic violence cases, and with the colder days ahead, they fear those cases could rise even more.

According to the Ohio Hispanic Coalition, in 2019, it had about 50 reports of domestic violence. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic started and the world was forced to stay indoors, in 2020, they saw a 50 percent increase. Now, in 2021, they are seeing 185 cases so far this year.

“We want to help these victims,” said victim advocate Jennifer Vazquez-Lopez with the coalition.

She said although she hasn’t personally been a victim, her mother was, and Vazquez-Lopez saw firsthand some of the barriers her mom was facing in Columbus as a Latina woman.

“There’s a lack of knowing the system,” she said.

Oftentimes, people who come through the coalition’s doors have a hard time understanding their legal rights, especially those who are undocumented, how to file a police report, and where to go from there.

The coalition’s domestic violence program specifically caters to the Latino community and provides translators.

“Some of the services we provide are resources for relocation assistance,” Vazquez-Lopez said. “We also provide resources for food pantries, and we also help them with our youth and education program. They have to get jobs to overcome everything.”

Any seeking help from the program can call 614-641-6739, or click here to visit the website.

For emergencies, please call 911.