During the Covid-19 Health Crisis and “Shelter in Place” Order, There is Help for Those Living With Domestic Violence
The Covid-19 virus has now spread to every state in the U.S. and to countries around the world. We have seen an unprecedented move by the state of California issuing “Shelter in Place” orders designed to keep all residents at home and limit their contact with other people and closure of businesses and public places in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. The order will remain in effect through April 7.
We have begun receiving calls from the media and the public about domestic violence victims and what happens to them if they are forced to stay at home with their abusers; particularly, we have been asked, “Does domestic violence increase during times of crisis?”
Research from a variety of sources, including the World Health Organization, indicates that during times of crisis, such as natural disasters, there are increases in violence in a community. Underlying factors which give rise to violence include increased stress and feelings of powerlessness due to bereavement; loss of property and loss of livelihood; increased mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder; scarcity of basic provisions; and destruction of social networks. For those who are living with abuse and violence it is an especially isolating and frightening time. But they are not alone and we can help!
We want to take this opportunity to say that even though many agencies and businesses have been forced to temporarily close their offices due to health precautions amidst COVID-19, domestic violence agencies are still operating with a few changes in how we are serving the public.
For 49 years we have operated as the largest provider of domestic violence services in Santa Clara County. As an agency, we have had to make hard decisions about how to continue services during this difficult period and balancing the needs of clients with the health and safety of our advocates. It is the first time in 49 years that we have had to take such steps.
Like many nonprofits, we are having to adjust to uncharted circumstances and adapt accordingly to serve our clients and complete our mission for ending domestic violence in the moment and for all time. We have been receiving calls to our crisis line, including requests for food and basic needs, legal assistance, and emergency shelter. While we have had to temporarily close our Community Office, we are still responding to requests for help. If you are in the midst of a life-threatening situation, you should dial 911. If you want to receive help and support for domestic violence or intimate partner violence and related needs, please call our 24-hour hotline at 408-279-2962.
At this time, our greatest need are financial contributions to keep our services going in these fiscally challenging and uncertain times. Please visit our web site at nextdoorsolutions.org to make a financial donation of any amount. If you wish to make a significant financial donation, please contact Beth Williams at (408)501-7558.
On behalf of our staff and Board of Directors, we thank you for your continued support of our important work. We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing the highest quality of service possible in these challenging times. We stand united with our community as we take care of ourselves, our families and each other.