COVID-19 Update 4.16.20
I hope this email finds you and your loved ones well. Please see below for Domestic Violence Resource Center updates.
I am pleased to share that the 65 residential clients we are serving both in our emergency shelter program and at our transitional housing (TH) facilities continue to be well and show no symptoms of the Coronavirus. We are grateful for their understanding of the seriousness of the threat of exposure in group living and for the efforts they are taking to help keep themselves and each other safe and well. In addition to recognizing their efforts, I must applaud the efforts of our conscientious staff who provide support, education and resources on an hourly basis to help keep our residents (and themselves) safe.
The need for our emergency shelter program continues to grow. In an effort to minimize exposure at our dedicated shelter facility we have expanded the emergency shelter program to include sheltering at local long-stay motels. Community support has been generous to help us meet this unanticipated need, and the associated costs relative to providing shelter in multiple locations (food delivery for example). Thank you for your interest in this program and for your continued financial support to help us maintain this level of service.
In mid-March our organization moved to stop holding in-person support groups for victims of domestic violence to reduce potential exposure for domestic violence survivors and staff. Our staff and volunteers have continued to provide advocacy and support through our emergency hotline which is answered 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. We haven’t forgotten, however, about the benefit that a “group” setting can provide for domestic violence survivors, providing them an opportunity to share and process their trauma. To help meet this need we have decided to reinstate our support groups telephonically. Beginning Thursday, April 23, survivors will be encouraged to call in to support groups in both English and Spanish.
Please help us spread this news by sharing the Domestic Violence Resource Center Support Group Hotline number which is 1-800-719-6100, access code: 945 9493. Support group calls will be facilitated by a domestic violence advocate on Thursday afternoons, in English from 3-4 p.m., in Spanish from 4-5 p.m.
Domestic violence and COVID-19:
We continue to see local and national news about the dangerous intersection of COVID-19 and domestic violence. Being quarantined with an abuser creates great danger for domestic violence victims, their children and pets. Potential unemployment and significant financial instability make the situation that much more volatile.
We are seeing a spike in calls to our emergency hotline as a result of the pandemic. In March we took 65% more emergency hotline calls than we did in February. Callers cite safety concerns, financial stress, homelessness concerns and food insecurity. Click here to review this Huffington Post article that paints a grim picture of the realities of being quarantined in an abusive environment.
This article also highlights the financial stressors that are all too common in domestic violence relationships. The Allstate Foundation cites that financial abuse occurs in 99% of all domestic violence relationships. To help address this reality, in 2018 the Domestic Violence Resource Center piloted a financial literacy program for residential clients. Each residential client meets twice a month with a financial coach. Financial successes have included increases in credit scores, paying off credit card debt, car purchases – and perhaps more important, increased confidence and security. We are compiling a report about the second year of this program and will look forward to sharing that with our community supporters very soon.
Thank you for thinking of the families we serve as you continue to focus on the needs of yours. Your generosity warms our hearts.
Take care and be well.