Forget cozy illusions of happy families sitting together sipping hot cocoa and watching Disney movies while self-isolating at home. Instead, imagine families trapped together with no social outlets, all while enduring the increased stressors of joblessness, escalated substance and alcohol abuse, and untreated mental health emergencies associated with months long back logs in every mental health clinic and private practice.

As these factors began to play out across our community it was clear we were sitting on a powder keg of circumstances bound to increase the occurrence and severity of domestic violence.

Leslie Dietz is a senior supervisor for YWCA Safe Home Hanover and Gettysburg, and member of the Behavioral Health Task Force of Healthy Adams County.

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