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Staying home may safeguard against contracting COVID-19, but it can be deadly when living with an abusive partner. That’s why Sojourner, the largest provider of domestic violence prevention and intervention services in Wisconsin, is asking the public to spread the word that help is still available amid safer-at-home.
“Domestic violence survivors need help now more than ever,” said Sojourner President and CEO Carmen Pitre. “If someone threatens your life – even if they’ve never hurt you before – believe them. Reach out for help. We’re still open and available for safety planning, emergency shelter and support services – call our 24-hour hotline right now if someone has been abusive to you. If you don’t call us, please call someone.”
Today Sojourner released a new video public service announcement to raise awareness about domestic violence amid COVID-19 and available resources. The 60- and 30-second videos illustrate the fear and isolation of being trapped indoors with an abusive partner as the nation shelters in place. The videos are available on the agency’s website and social media channels.
Home is not always a safe place PSA (60-sec)
Home is not always a safe place PSA (30-sec)
“We want survivors to know they’re not alone – and that hope and help are both available,” said Pitre. “News of today’s tragic domestic violence-related homicides underscores the urgency of the situation. People’s lives are in danger. We need the public to know we’re still here to help – and to reach out.”
Sojourner also provides practical safety tips for domestic violence survivors, including how to spot warning signs, where to find help and how to stay safe when living in violence. Domestic Violence and COVID-19 Safety Bulletins are available on the website, www.familypeacecenter.org, in English, Spanish and Russian.
“We need to stay connected with each other,” said Pitre. “Traditional support systems may not be available. We need to check in on people we care about – a call or text, asking if they’re OK and reminding them you care could be a lifeline that prevents another tragedy.”
In 2019, Sojourner served more than 11,800 domestic violence survivors and provided more than 15,000 nights of emergency shelter. For more information about safety planning and how Sojourner can help, visit www.familypeacecenter.org.