By Olga-Rodriguez Vidal
March 20, 2020
Domestic violence happens in the home, so when the response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis is to encourage people to quarantine themselves at home, abuse and violence can increase. During this time, Safe Horizon is doing everything we can to make services available. Here are some tips you can use if you are quarantined with someone who abuses you and how Safe Horizon can help.
1. Consider Creating a Safety Plan
A safety plan is a strategy you can use to minimize risks. Your safety plan can change as your specific concerns and situation changes. While under the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) quarantine, you may want to make changes to your safety plan to help keep you safe. For example, if physical violence often occurs in the kitchen at a specific time, a safety plan would outline alternative places and times you can plan to be to curb the violence while quarantined at home.
We always encourage survivors to collaborate with an expert to create these plans. Our hotline advocates are trained to safety plan with survivors and are available 24/7 to provide you with help or just a listening ear. Call to speak with an advocate at 1-800-621-HOPE (4673). If you’re unsure about calling an advocate, you can find out what to expect by reading how Nia safety plans with survivors.
If it is not safe to speak over the phone, you can chat with an advocate. Visit http://safehorizon.org/safechat
Our official safety planning page also provides a more in-depth guide in how you can create your own safety plan during quarantine.
2. Continue to Stay in Touch with Your Support Network
It’s difficult for many of us to be isolated due to being quarantined because of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), let alone if you are at home with the person abusing you. Now is a great time to think of different ways to connect to the people you trust and who support you the most. To engage in face-to-face contact, you can video chat using free phone apps like WhatsApp or Apple FaceTime. Texting, speaking over the phone, or even using social media can also help you stay connected. You can check in with your support system daily, and even implement protective strategies for when you know the person causing harm is likely to react. For example, you can tell your support network that if they don’t hear from you by a certain day or time, to send help.
3. Know There is Help
Being quarantine due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) may make you think twice before reaching out for help – we are here to say please don’t because help is here. At Safe Horizon, we are doing everything in our power to make our services available to help, especially at this time of crisis.
Our Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-621-HOPE (4673) is open to all survivors, whether you need a listening ear or linkages to resources that are available during the pandemic.
Our Domestic Violence Shelters are also still open. We are still providing safe spaces for people in danger and can provide you with basic needs when you come to shelter.
We are providing real-time updates of site closures or reduced services here as they occur on this web page https://www.safehorizon.org/emergency/
Please take care of yourself and stay safe.