The Rape and Abuse Crisis Center has seen a slow growth of calls related to domestic violence throughout these last few months. We spoke with its CEO, Chris Johnson.

He says from March to May, calls for help went down to about half of what the center is used to seeing.

But more recently, he’s seen an uptick in calls, which he says is because of some businesses reopening and more resources are becoming available.

Johnson says since the pandemic’s path is still uncertain, he’s not ruling out another lockdown, which he says could discourage people looking for help again.

“When we ask society to lock down and don’t go anywhere and try to limit the amount of human contact, that puts every domestic violence victim trapped with their abuser,” Dr. Johnson added.

According to the North Dakota Department of Human Services, about 200 people have been in shelters from domestic violence statewide since the pandemic started.