Every day at CHANA, we are committed to the health and safety of all members of our community. We know that this may be a particularly frightening and isolating time for victims and survivors of abuse and trauma and their children. We also know that people are especially vulnerable to sexual and domestic violence during the chaos and uncertainty that accompanies a natural disaster or state of emergency like the one we are currently experiencing.
As the situation with the Coronavirus Pandemic is affecting nearly every aspect of our lives, tensions remain high. During a time when companies are advising employees to work remotely, and the government is recommending social distancing, victims may be isolated in their homes or in proximity to their abuser for extended periods of time.
These factors can create situations where safety is compromised, and danger escalates. CHANA is there to help.
The following are some tips for survivors to stay safe throughout the duration of this crisis.
Create a Safety Plan
A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that includes individualized methods for victims to remain safe while in an abusive relationship, or when they are planning to leave or have already left. CHANA works through every aspect of the ongoing and ever-changing plan.
Each victim’s plan is unique and incorporates all the components of their circumstances. CHANA partners with clients to empower them to make the plans and decisions that are right for them. In these unprecedented times, safety plans are more crucial than ever to ensure safety.
COVID-19 is causing many of us to feel stressed and overwhelmed. Taking time for your health and wellness can make a big difference in how you feel.
Take a walk, use free meditation or breathing tools such as apps or websites, watch TV or listen to a podcast that makes you smile or grabs your interest, create a routine, find a creative outlet, do a puzzle, read a book or volunteer with Jewish Volunteer Connection.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the constant influx of information, choose one news or media outlet and rely on that source, restrict your social media use, or feel free to turn the TV off!
If you have a friend or loved one who is experiencing abuse, you may be increasingly worried for their safety. Remind yourself that while you can’t make decisions for them, you can encourage and support them in thinking about their own well-being, safety plan and help them practice self-care while they are in their home.
Reach Out for Help
Because people are being encouraged to stay at home, away from their regular support networks, feelings of isolation may increase. Try to maintain connections with family and friends through social media and over the phone, and schedule regular check-ins to keep in touch and feel connected.
Use technology such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, Zoom and Facebook Live to be able to see the faces of those that you love. Make sure that if you use technology that you can do so safely.
Technological abuse is a challenge for many victims of domestic violence. CHANA’s staff can help safety plan around this type of abuse.
Abuse is never okay. If you need someone to talk to, CHANA is a phone call away.
Throughout this pandemic, CHANA will continue to provide a full spectrum of essential services, including emergency shelter, crisis intervention , counseling, legal advocacy, and safety planning, while following best practices and guidance from federal, state and local health partners as the situation unfolds. Victims and survivors who need support, we are here for you. For help, call 410-234-0030.
You are not alone.
The Associated and its network of agencies continue to actively monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to ensure critical needs and services are provided and available to our community members. If you need assistance, want to help or are looking to learn more, please visit associated.org/covid19 for additional resources and information.
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