In Recognition Of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Bailey Glasser Encourages Contributions To Survivor Support Agencies
Domestic violence is, and has been, a leading threat to global health. It is estimated that more than ten million people experience domestic violence on an annual basis in the United States alone.
Yet in 2020, measures to resist the spread of COVID-19 paradoxically place survivors of domestic violence at increased risk. Stay-at-home orders and other restrictions on movement, school closures, and work from home policies, while necessary to mitigate spread of the virus, isolate survivors with their abusers and separate survivors from social support networks. Furloughs and lay-offs have the same effect.
Simultaneously, the many local, state, and national agencies supporting survivors of domestic violence face amplified challenges. Survivors in need of help have fewer, safe opportunities to seek it; mandatory reporters (teachers, child care workers, and healthcare professionals) have fewer interactions with children and families to recognize and report signs of abuse; shelters are operating at reduced capacities; agencies are incurring unplanned costs to house survivors in hotels and to maintain adequate supplies of personal protective equipment; and survivor unemployment can render an abuser’s finances a far more effective tool of abuse.
This month—Domestic Violence Awareness Month—Bailey Glasser encourages those with means to support the local, state, and national agencies working to address what UN Women calls the Shadow Pandemic. Call your local domestic violence shelter or your state coalition to learn more about how you can contribute. For a list of state and territory coalitions, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s local resources page: https://www.thehotline.org/get-help/local-resources/.