‘We Are Open’: Andrew Warren partners with The Spring of Tampa Bay for domestic violence support

We Are Open campaign
Help for victims of domestic violence never closes.

Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren is teaming up with The Spring of Tampa Bay for the “We Are Open” campaign reminding victims of domestic violence that resources are still available during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign spreads the message, “Help for victims of domestic violence never closes.” It aims to reverse troubling statistics showing an increasing number of abuse victims are not reaching out for support, and are instead suffering in silence.

Experts in the U.S. and around the world already expected the stress created by the COVID-19 pandemic’s stay at home orders and economic challenges to lead to a rise in domestic violence.

But, two statistics from March and April are leaving local advocates worried.

Arrests for domestic violence are down and calls to The Spring of Tampa Bay, the county’s main domestic violence support provider, have not increased.

Combined, the data suggests victims are still suffering, but are doing so without seeking help. Officials predict that’s due to either fear of the virus itself or because victims are unable to get to a safe place where they can call for help.

“If they’re afraid no one will be there, or that the justice system can’t handle their case right now, they should rest assured that ‘We Are Open.’ All our partners have worked together to make sure support for domestic violence victims is continuing, nonstop, no matter what,” Warren said.

Added Mindy Murphy, president and CEO of The Spring of Tampa Bay, “Our hotline and support services are all here for you. When we say we’re here to help 24/7, we mean it. So if you or someone you know needs to talk, or needs help staying safe, remember that ‘We Are Open.’”

The hotline number is (813) 247-7233. Anyone in an immediate emergency should always call 911.

Other partners include the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, City of Tampa, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, Tampa Fire Rescue, WWE superstar Titus O’Neil, and others.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


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