Domestic violence is pervasive and a cycle of violence that will repeat over and over. The COVID-19 pandemic cannot break the cycle of domestic violence. There are many reports and articles of increased instances of domestic violence since the implementation of stay-at-home orders with victims at home with their abusers. However, there are resources that remain in place, today and always, to help one break the cycle of violence.
For example, earlier this year, we partnered with VictimsVoice. VictimsVoice is a tool that aims to fix the legal documentation burdens victims face when recalling details for reporting acts of abuse, harassment, and discrimination. This tool allows victims to document evidence of abuse that improves the ability to seek legal relief. According to VictimsVoice, there has been a significant increase in the app usage over the last several weeks. We offer the VictimsVoice tool to our clients for free.
In New Jersey, the NJ Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-572-SAFE (7233). Please use this number if you fear for your safety or the safety of a loved one. The New Jersey Domestic Violence Hotline provides confidential access to domestic violence information and services, including crisis intervention, referral, and advocacy.
There are also local agencies. For example, Safe+Sound Somerset’s call and text hotline remain open during the coronavirus crisis. It is available 24/7 at 866-685-1122 to help those in crisis and to answer questions. Click here for a Safety Planning During COVID-19 guide from Safe+Sound. Please check your local area for resources.
This crisis is stressful enough. We are all worried about our health, families, security and finances. It is all that plus much more for those dealing with domestic violence and the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, please contact me if you need help or resources with domestic violence matters. We are available to help with emergent matters. In the meantime, stay safe. We will get through this together.