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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Some experts have referred to domestic violence during the coronavirus quarantine a “pandemic within a pandemic.”

The unusual living conditions brought about by the stay-at-home-orders have only exacerbated an already dangerous and pervasive issue.

Tammy Holwick survived the trauma of childhood domestic abuse and now works as an advocate to help others.

“This is not normal, you don’t deserve this,” Holwick said. “You don’t have to live like this, there is something better, life was meant to be better.”

For the last 10 years, Holwick has volunteered at Safehome, a Johnson County non-profit that offers free services for victims of domestic violence. That includes a 60-bed shelter, counseling, and even free legal help.

“We are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, we never close, we have never closed,” said Kimberly Paul with Safehome. “So we’re there if you need help or you are concerned about someone who might need help, give us a call.”

The 24 hour Safehome hotline is (913) 262-2868.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Holwick said, for many victims, just hearing that help is available can be a real life line.

“When you grow up in this, it’s all you know, and you think it’s normal, you don’t realize that other households aren’t like this.”