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How can my community raise awareness about domestic violence, especially during this time of isolation?

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE:

Available 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) in more than 200 languages. All calls are free and confidential

OTHER HELP:

You can chat with them on their website thehotline.org

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:

  • When there is a confined space, it can be controlled by an abuser, and you add to that the various stresses that we are all experiencing — all of that isolation and all of that stress leads to an increase in abusive behavior.” — Mary-Jane Foster, president and CEO of Interval House in Hartford (Hartford Courant).
  • Domestic violence victims usually find it difficult to get help because their abusers make them isolate from friends and family. This added along with a complete dependence on their abuser makes it hard for victims to escape their situation. 
  • Cases of domestic violence usually spike during times of economic crisis and given the stay at home orders all over the United States, victims can’t leave (The Guardian). 
  • Now more than ever a domestic abuse victim is unlikely to call a hotline because their abuser is home or in the room with them (The Guardian). 
  • Statistics in New York City actually show the number of calls to hotlines are decreasing after the shutdown, which frightens officials because that means many more victims are suffering in silence. Calls to organizations that provide shelter to battered women have spiked, which is not good news either (New York Times). 
General Statistics about Domestic Violence in the US

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FACTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD:

  • Domestic violence cases frequently go up during times when families stay together like Christmas and summer vacations (New York Times)
  • In China, a domestic violence helpline “Equality” has seen a surge of calls since early February (New York Times)
  • The same has occurred in Spain, with its emergency number receiving 18% more calls in the first two weeks of lockdown than two weeks a month earlier (New York Times)
This is the Duluth Model Power and Control Wheel developed in the 1980s that has the ways domestic abuse can come up in a relationship.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN MY COMMUNITY:

  • In Connecticut, Hartford police reported 509 calls this March compared to only 435 in March 2019 (Hartford Courant)
  • Here in Connecticut we have a help service called Safe Connect which is a hotline and web chat available to those who are impacted by domestic violence. Their website is ctsafeconnect.org — if you do some research in your own state/city/community you can find your own personal hotline, however anybody can use the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

FOR NOW:

  • While this is a tough situation to fix all at once, there are things we as a community can do to help others and raise awareness.
  • For example, using social media as a platform to raise awareness is something small we can all do. Whether it’s reposting an instagram post on your story or creating your own content. 
On apps like tik tok, people are using clever messages to help those who are suffering in silence — this video itself got 1.3M views and 634.3K likes in a week so platforms like tik tok are good for spreading awareness quickly

Even a quick like, comment or share on tik toks like the one above can help it circulate and maybe reach someone who needs help. 

This is another one of those clever messages people are using to help others during the time of isolation. Reposting these on your Instagram story can also spread awareness

BIGGEST THING TO REMEMBER

Check on your friends, family and neighbors to make sure they are ok. The worst thing for a domestic violence victim is being isolated, so try to FaceTime and check up on them often! 

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COMMENTS: 1
  1. April 26, 2020 by Patina

    Hi Shreeya, your project is super relevant and informative! I was actually just having a conversation with my mom about this issue last week, wondering what we could do to help those suffering from domestic violence who are now unable to leave their house. I thought that you had a lot of good information/statistics, and I liked your suggestions for addressing this issue. I didn’t realize how involved people were becoming on social media, so I’m going to do my best to help share those types of posts! Also, I was wondering what types of policy changes could help this situation in addition to support from personal and online communities?

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