Domestic violence survivor speaks out and wants others to know there is help during the pandemic

This pandemic is affecting all of us in some way or another. For domestic violence victims who are afraid to get help, police in some towns are worried about what is really happening behind closed doors.

BOSTON — This pandemic is affecting all of us in some way or another.

For domestic violence victims who are afraid to get help, police in some towns are worried about what is really happening behind closed doors.

“People are really getting hurt right now," said Rachel Peck, a domestic violence survivor. "I’ve been abused, choked on the ground.”

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Peck, 29, is a mother of two who relocated to the Massachusetts area after she says her ex-husband was abusive and tried to kill her.

“Holding down, shoving my face into the floor, close fist punches,” said Peck.

Peck got help and she now works at Boston-based Casa Myrna, an organization that helps domestic violence victims.

After Peck read about what happened to Kathleen McLean, a Dover woman, she was devastated.

“Wow, another one, my immediate reaction,” said Peck.

Prosecutors say McLean’s husband, 58-year-old Doctor Ingolf Tuerk, a urologist, admitted to killing her and dumping her body. Domestic violence during the pandemic is spoken about often by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito during news conferences.

“Quarantine or working from home, living with an abuser and the impact it has on your mental and physical abilities,” said Polito during a news conference on April 9th.

Calls to get help haven’t been coming in as much at SafeLink.

“People are scared, people are having a harder time to get the privacy to call us” said Claire Spelkoman, SafeLink’s manager.

One victim recently called for help after boyfriend was released from jail because of COVID-19.

"The abuser came back to the house and abused her, and they took him back and they’re trying to find another place to go,” said Peck.

The message is: call for help by calling 211 or the state’s toll free domestic violence hotline SafeLink at 877-785-2020.

Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael says calls have been down. Over in inner city areas like Chelsea, Chief Brian Kyes says calls for domestic violence have been up.

Officials want you to know that SafeLink is a 24/7 resource you can call anytime you need.

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