For some in our community, staying at home to help slow the spread of COVID-19 has the unintended consequence of increasing the risk of domestic violence. Survivors and children are left with perpetrators of violence for longer periods of time, unable to access other supports such as teachers, friends, co-workers, and family members. The quarantine can also increase the tension in relationships that were already at risk for violence.
Those with mental health and substance use disorders are having more difficulty accessing care, communicating privately with care providers, and utilizing coping skills. The loss of jobs, financial stress, and helping children regulate their emotions is difficult for anyone. When you have a mental illness or substance use disorder this is compounded even more. Once you add in the extreme isolation and risk of COVID-19, the stress can break apart the structures that the person has worked so hard to put in place.
“It’s difficult for families and survivors to find shelters and places to go,” states Dennis Marceron, Clinic Manager at Sound. “They are left with the difficult choice of turning to the streets where they face victimization, staying in an abusive and dangerous environment, or finding support from others, potentially exposing others or themselves to COVID-19.”
Sound’s nationally award-winning Children’s Domestic Violence Response Team (CDVRT), in partnership with local Domestic Violence agencies, provides intensive therapy and support to over 540 individuals each year and is a lifeline to families in need.
With your help, Sound is able to provide therapy and shelter for families and children affected by domestic violence, giving them the support and safety they need to thrive.