Purple flags were planted on the lawn of the Douglas County Courthouse Thursday, Oct. 1, to raise awareness of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. There were 724 in all one for each domestic violence call in Douglas County in 2019.

That's 78 more calls than the year before, according to Lisa Jordan, domestic abuse program coordinator at the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse (CASDA), and the COVID-19 pandemic has caused domestic violence incidents to rise.

“From my end, I’ve noticed it since about July it really increased, and I’ve been really trying to think about why that is,” Jordan said.

Attorney Jaramy Hansen, right, watches Joanne Sanders, CASDA shelter program coordinator, plant purple flags into the ground outside of the Douglas County Courthouse Thursday, Oct. 1, to kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)
Attorney Jaramy Hansen, right, watches Joanne Sanders, CASDA shelter program coordinator, plant purple flags into the ground outside of the Douglas County Courthouse Thursday, Oct. 1, to kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

There are many variables, but she said much of it can be linked to increased stress and economic hardship. To help combat the stress, CASDA is rolling out a week-long virtual retreat Oct. 4-10 offering everything from music and meditation to yoga and relaxation sessions for all ages through the CASDA Facebook page.

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“My thoughts are first and foremost on self-care,” Jordan said. “For all of us living through this pandemic it’s a must, but for our survivors and victims of domestic violence it is crucial. Their only ‘get away’ may be their tablets or phones, especially if they are stuck at home with their abusers, so finding creative ways to reach out to them is our goal.”

A certified yoga and meditation teacher, Jordan has seen the positive effects the practices have on those struggling with PTSD, anxiety, depression, chronic pain and more. She’s looking forward to sharing tools like breathing exercises and meditation with the entire community.

“Whether you deal with domestic violence or not, everybody needs it. Everyone in the world is in a stressful place right now,” Jordan said.

Visit the casda.org or the CASDA Facebook page to plug into this month's events.

Samantha Church, sexual assault campus advocate, wears a “Break the Silence” bracelet while placing purple flags in the ground outside of the Douglas County Courthouse Thursday, Oct. 1, to kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)
Samantha Church, sexual assault campus advocate, wears a “Break the Silence” bracelet while placing purple flags in the ground outside of the Douglas County Courthouse Thursday, Oct. 1, to kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)