Domestic Violence Is on the Rise Under Lockdown. Here’s How You Can Help Survivors
As the novel coronavirus has ravaged the world and stay-at-home orders have been put in place in virtually every country across the globe, my thoughts have returned continually to those for whom home is not a safe place.
It’s a stark statistic, but approximately 7.9 million women in the United States are raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a current or former intimate partner each year.
As we are collectively being asked to social-distance and stay at home, COVID-19 is confining many of these women in even closer quarters with their abusers, as Glamour has previously reported, without the lifeline that even the simplest of trips to the shops, or the respite that their or their partner’s regular working hours, might have provided.
Getting help to them, and the organizations that support those in need, is more vital than ever.
“Any donation, small or large, whatever you can give, will go toward saving the lives of millions of adults and children at risk.”
Which is why today, on #GivingTuesdayNow, I am urging you to donate to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the national organization that supports victims directly as well as providing services to a statewide network of shelters. Any donation, small or large, whatever you can give, will go toward saving the lives of millions of adults and children at risk.
“Local service providers are grappling with the unprecedented challenge of sheltering and providing services just as the public health crisis requires distance and separation,” Deborah Vagins, president and CEO of the NNEDV, told me this week.
At the same time, she explains, “Although it is too early in the COVID-19 pandemic for complete nationwide data, reports from communities across the United States point to increases in incidences of domestic violence. Requests for shelter and assistance usually surge after people can safely leave their homes. We expect the demand will be sustained for months because many people will have lost their jobs and be dependent on assistance from domestic violence programs to attain housing or shelter.
“Reports from communities across the United States point to increases in incidences of domestic violence.”
“According to NNEDV’s Annual Domestic Violence Counts report, each day over 11,000 requests for assistance go unmet—primarily requests for shelter—because programs lacked sufficient resources. COVID-19 will only increase these needs.”
You can help change that. During this pandemic, donations to the NNEDV will allow the organization to provide economic empowerment to survivors, assisting them with legal information via the organization’s dedicated email hotline (in both English and Spanish), and to provide resources, training, and technical assistance to local networks and shelters.
Already, Uber has pledged 50,000 free rides to domestic violence shelters and safe havens, and Rihanna gave $2.1 million to provide ten weeks’ worth of shelter, meals, and counseling for individuals and their children in Los Angeles. But this is only a fraction of what the shelters require.
As Vagins explains in a statement on NNEDV.org: “NNEDV is working alongside state and territorial coalitions to ensure that local domestic violence programs have the support they need to keep doors open and survivors safe.” She adds: “We are so grateful to Glamour for raising awareness about domestic violence, particularly during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Donations are urgently needed right now to help us continue to equip advocates with desperately-needed tools, resources, trainings, and legal information to continue to serve survivors safely and confidentially.”
So today I ask you to give what you can. Whether that is financially, or with your time. You may want to use your voice to petition for change (see the many ways the NNEDV encourages you to get involved here, or take a moment to share this article or a link to the donation page. Every action matters. Never has it been more important to protect the lives and safety of adults and children at risk in the home.
The very heart of Glamour’s mission is to support women—whether that is celebrating female achievement, investing in future generations, or raising awareness to keep those at risk, safe.
Today I want you to unite for the latter. Your support for the NNEDV will make sure funds and assistance go to women around the country in this time of unprecedented crisis. Collectively you have the power not just to change lives, but to save them. Whether it is $10 or $100, your gift will help ensure survivors have access to the resources and protections they deserve.
Editor in chief
- If you are in immediate danger and feel comfortable seeking help from the police, please call 911.
- For help and assistance, call the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.
- The StrongHearts Native Helpline) 1-844-7NATIVE (762-8483) is a safe domestic violence and dating violence helpline for American Indians and Alaska Natives, offering culturally appropriate support and advocacy daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. Anonymous and confidential.
- If you have a legal question, NNEDV provides a legal email helpline through www.womenslaw.org and written legal information in both Spanish and English.
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