Sexual and domestic violence advocates here for Virginians
“For survivors of recent or ongoing sexual and intimate partner violence, being home may not be the safest place, particularly as people are financially and emotionally stressed,” Action Alliance Executive Director Kristi VanAudenhove said. “Moreover, those who experience harm and those who cause harm, including violence, are physically cutoff from others who can provide emotional support that reduces abuse – such as addiction recovery groups, access to a gym, and friends.”
Additionally, physical distancing and the related economic and social impact have illustrated the gaps in our federal and state support systems — a lack of economic justice for low-wage workers and hourly workers, a lack of paid sick leave to care for one’s own health or that of a loved one, and gaps in affordable childcare, to name a few.
“With all of these stressors, we are going to see an increased need for services for survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence,” added VanAudenhove. “This is a trend seen in the aftermath of other natural disasters such as hurricanes, in which abusers have increased access to those they hurt. In fact, the number of calls to the Statewide Hotline have already increased by more than 30% these past couple of weeks.”
Advocates at the Action Alliance and at local agencies throughout the state are here for survivors. The Statewide Hotline is operational and continues to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you are a survivor or a concerned family member or friend in need of support or help with planning for safety, please contact the Statewide Hotline:
- Call toll-free: 800-838-8238.
- Text: 804.793.9999
- Chat: www.vadata.org//chat/
Advocates are also available through community hotlines and they are providing innovative mobile advocacy services and virtual support groups. Domestic violence shelters are continuing to provide emergency shelter to survivors and are also helping survivors to find safe housing in their communities or to travel to be with family where they will receive care and support.