Staying at Home Puts Victims at Risk

Staying at Home Puts Victims at Risk

This is a challenging time for people who are not in a safe place. For many, that place is their home.

Rates of violence increase during a natural disaster. Social distancing and isolating oneself, activities that keep us safe from a health perspective, increase the risk for those living with domestic or sexual violence in the home.

During COVID-19, staying at home can put domestic violence victims at risk. Isolation is one of the key tools used by those who perpetrate domestic violence against their intimate partner, so being forced to stay at home increases the isolation and the risk. When you add the financial difficulties that many in this crisis who are forced to stay home face, the problem is exacerbated.

We are one of 13 crisis centers in New Hampshire. We continue to provide 24-hour support over our support line, and to meet the needs of victims and survivors in court and in hospitals, although our services may be modified and delivered in a different way during this crisis.

Pay attention to your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t hesitate. Reach out if you feel someone needs your help. Two of the most important things you can do are to listen, and to believe the victim.

  • Make the connection — it’s important now more than ever.
  • Ask “What is the safest way to communicate? How can I check in with you? What’s the best way to reach you?”
  • Be creative, because making a phone call or sending a text may be much more difficult now,
  • Ask if they have a safe place to go if they need to leave.
  • Ask if they have their important papers and medications in a place where they can access them quickly.
  • Familiarize yourself with where the local crisis center is and what the hotline number is.
  • Connect them to the crisis center.

We at Bridges, want to make sure that victims have the resources they need so they don’t have to stay in an unsafe environment. It is so important that they connect with us. Our support line is monitored 24/7 and can be reached at 603-883-3044 and we also offer Live Chat Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm.