HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The mayor of Hartford and Hartford Police Department announced some new safety measures and resources for domestic violence victims during a press conference Monday.

First, the Hartford PD has created a dedicated Domestic Violence Response Unit to operate during the coronavirus pandemic.

The mayor’s office reports, “the unit consists of uniformed patrol officers assigned solely to respond to and investigate incidents of domestic violence across the city.” Two officers on day shift and two on the evening shift, HPD reports.

The team in coordinating with Interval House and their victim advocate already embedded in the police department.

News 8 reported a few weeks ago, domestic violence experts say that the social-distancing orders and isolation requirements during the coronavirus outbreak create a greater risk for domestic abuse incidents.

We want anyone at risk of domestic abuse or intimate partner violence to feel comfortable seeking help, and we want everyone in our community to report abuse when the see it or suspect it.

We created this unit so that we’d have a team of investigators ready to respond quickly and give domestic violence calls their full attention, without worrying about any other calls for service. 

The bottom line is that victims of domestic abuse are at greater risk during this time of isolation, and we want to do everything we can to support and protect anyone at risk of harm.

– Mayor Luke Bronin/ Hartford

RELATED: Mental health experts warn of increase in domestic violence cases during coronavirus quarantine; officials say there are resources to help

Over the past week, the Hartford Police Department reports they “saw a 20% increase in calls related to domestic abuse, but the City has significant concerns about under-reporting.”

We want residents to reach out to us if they are concerned about themselves or a loved one, and we want them to know that we will work quickly to respond. 

This new unit will continue to work hand in hand with Interval House, and it will focus both on enforcement and on connecting victims to resources and support.

– Police Chief Jason Thody

Second, domestic violence victims can now apply for restraining orders online, Mayor Luke Bronin announced.

CT Coalition Against Domestic Violence tweeted that victims can now apply completely online using CTSafeConnect crisis hotline available 24/7 via call, chat, and email with the Interval House at 888-774-2900 or CTSafeConnect.org.

Interval House also announced Monday, its advocates are continuing to work to support victims of domestic abuse “through the legal process, and Connecticut Judicial Branch functions related to family orders and domestic abuse remain fully operational.”

There are a number of national resources available for victims of domestic abuse. The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 is available 24/7 in more than two hundred languages, and they have a chat line available here or by texting LOVEIS to 22522.

There is a 24/7 hotline in English and Spanish for LGBTQ+ individuals at 212-714-114, run by the Anti-Violence Project.