“Stay home and be safe.” So many times we have read or heard this statement. Yet, for many women*, the threat of violence looms largest where they should be safe – in their homes. The situation we are living in with COVID-19 has increased the risk for the occurrence of domestic violence due to economic stress, social pressures, and isolation. Additionally, stay at home recommendations have trapped women with their abusive partners.
António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, stated: “with global lockdowns there has been a horrifying surge in domestic violence and measures to stop domestic violence should be part of the national response to the COVID 19 pandemic.” In this country, women from the National Domestic Violence Project have revealed that the number of calls for help have increased dramatically. If you know a woman who has been a victim of domestic violence and lives in a home that is not safe, reach out and call. You may be the support she needs at this time.
Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center is our local program serving families impacted by domestic violence. Although offices are closed, the emergency hotline continues to be available 24/7 – 978-388-1888 and 800-439-0183 (TTY). If you are in immediate physical danger always call 911. For non-emergency needs for support or legal advice, call 978-834-9710 and your call will be returned.
If you are in a home that is not safe, as difficult as it may be for you, our hope is you will reach out and call the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center. And, always know Reverend Rebecca is here for you. You may reach Rev. Rebecca at RevRebecca.Bryan@FRSUU.org or 860-882-9410. Barbara Garnis, Pastoral Care Associate, is also here to talk. She can be reached at email@example.com or 978-270-0249.
*Domestic violence also affects men. The same protocol is encouraged for men who are not safe in their homes.