L.A. Times | Corbin Center helps people survive the shadow pandemic of domestic violence in Santa Ana
A bilingual advisory from the city of Santa Ana is taped to the locked gates of the Corbin Center, a green-trimmed building nestled beside Jerome Park. The notice stating that all such facilities remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic may seem alarming at first, but residents in need now more than ever have not been abandoned.
Corbin continues to operate remotely, ready to help those trapped in the shadow pandemic of domestic violence, a social issue already prevalent in Santa Ana prior to the unprecedented challenges brought forth this year.
Rosa, one such survivor, is a recent success story. The mother of three suffered injuries at the hands of her ex-husband during a domestic violence incident. Through services offered at Corbin, she became employed, gained a protective court order against her abuser, sought counseling and finally reunited with her children, who stayed with a trusted relative in the interim.
At the onset of stay-at-home orders in March, victim advocates feared a rise in domestic violence cases like Rosa’s. “We anticipated it was going to get really busy,” says Ruby Godinez, a coordinator at Corbin. “All of the stressors that could lead up to domestic violence were all happening at once.”
The pandemic forced many out of work as schools turned to remote learning. Teachers, as first responders, could no longer identify bruises and other markers of physical abuse on students attending class over video conferencing apps. Fears mounted that victims would be trapped at home with their abusers while a dangerous virus spread in the community.
But for the first several weeks, all seemed eerily quiet at Corbin, a family resource center overseen by the Children’s Bureau, a nonprofit leader in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect.
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