As Michigan has declared a state of emergency, the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing is still working to address the safety, health, and well-being of survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
We know health, economic, and natural crises can add to the pressures and inequities facing survivors and others who are already more vulnerable to economic and health insecurity. People who are surviving violence in their relationships and families may be experiencing increased isolation and danger due to the current outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Survivors may have specific needs around safety and health, and it is crucial to take those needs into consideration. It is also important to share accurate information and resources with your community to make sure that friends + family, survivors and service providers have the tools they need to respond in ways that are safe and supportive for survivors.
We recognize that many of the strategies discussed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as self-quarantine and social distancing, may be dangerous for survivors and their families. Additionally, fleeing unsafe situations may become more complicated and remaining in close proximity to abusive partners more dangerous. Domestic violence organizations are often working in difficult situations and responding to crisis; we are working to make sure that we can continue to provide counseling services, including support and safety planning, while following best practices in healthcare.
Resources and Information for Survivors:
- Remember that you are not alone and there are supports available to you at all times, including this health crisis.
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides free confidential, around-the-clock information and referrals for survivors. To contact the Victim Hotline, dial 1-800-799-7233 or through online chat.
- The National Sexual Assault Hotline is 24/7, confidential and free: 800.656.HOPE (4673) and through chat.
- The Trans LifeLine for peer support for trans folks 9am-3am CT: 877-330-6366. This hotline is staffed exclusively by trans operators is the only crisis line with a policy against non-consensual active rescue.
- Review options for safety planning when someone you are living with is hurting you from the National Network to End Domestic Violence and The National Domestic Violence Hotline.
- Consider identifying and reaching out to a friend, co-worker, or family member who could check in with you about your safety and support needs, should you have to quarantine at home.
- Your health and wellness are important. Follow the CDC recommendations for COVID-19 prevention and care that are safe and possible in your circumstances and consider these additional resources:
- Preparing For and Dealing with COVID-19 Coronavirus by Crissaris Sarnelli, MD
- Safer Drug Use During The Covid19 Outbreak by the Harm Reduction Coalition
- COVID-19 guidance for people experiencing homelessness without shelter from Multnomah County, California
- Half Assed Disabled Prepper Tips for Preparing for a Coronavirus Quarantine by Leah Piepzna-Samarasinha
Resources for Communities:
Social distancing may not always be safe for people who are surviving violence in their relationships or in their families. Our response to this virus must include taking care of each other and reaching out to make sure that loved ones, friends, and colleagues have the care and support they need and if they feel safe at home. The following resources and articles may be useful for communities:
- CDC Updates and Information on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Friends + Family Guide: How to help someone who is in an abusive relationship from the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- Coronavirus: Wisdom from a Social Justice Lens
- In a Disaster that Calls for Isolation, Your Community will Help You Survive
- Home Is Not A Safe Place For Everyone
- Why the Coronavirus Outbreak Could Hit Women Hardest
- Holistic Support for Immunity & Virus Prevention
- 21 Ideas for Free At-home Activities For this Anxiety-provoking Time
- #WeGotThis: To Our Positive Women Network (PWN) Family Regarding the Coronavirus Epidemic
- Caring Across Distance: Some Things to Consider Before Movement Gatherings During COVID-19
Remember to visit the following websites regularly for updates:
- The CDC Website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- HUD COVID-19 Information and Resources: https://www.hud.gov/coronavirus.