You are not alone: COVID-19 resources for domestic violence/sexual assault victims and survivors | Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

You are not alone: COVID-19 resources for domestic violence/sexual assault victims and survivors

April 29, 2020


ANTHC recognizes that people who are experiencing violence in their families and relationships may also be experiencing increased isolation and danger during the COVID-19 health mandates, which require all Alaskans, except critical and essential workers, to remain in their place of residence as much as possible and practice social distancing.

Survivors often have specific needs around safety, health, and confidentiality, which are becoming harder to access due to the need for social distancing. However, it is important for all victims and survivors to know, you are not alone. Crisis shelters are open and service providers and programs across the state are working hard to provide safe and alternative ways to provide support. Here are resources available in Alaska and across the country.

We will be updating these resources continuously. If you have information or resources to share, please contact the ANTHC Substance Misuse Prevention Program at saprevention@anthc.org, with the subject line “COVID-19 Resource.”

SAFETY PLANS AND SELF-CARE STRATEGIES FOR SURVIVORS

Maintaining safety is the first priority with the COVID-19 health mandates in Alaska and ANTHC wants to ensure you are aware of resources to help you stay safe.

  • If you can safely reach out for help, please do so. Reach out to a trusted friend, co-worker, or family member who could check in with you about your safety and support needs.
  • If you can, connect with close friends or family members and let them know what is happening. Consider connecting with them now in case you need someone to help you in an emergency.
  • Consider creating a signal for help. This could be a coded text message that you send to a parent or sibling, such as “We are out of milk,” that is really a request to call 911.
  • Keep physical distance at home if you are able. If you have a yard or balcony, make use of it. Send the kids outside or spend time out there yourself.
  • Exercise is one of the best things you can do to manage depression and anxiety. There are many free videos online for yoga, meditation, and other types of exercise.  

If you are a survivor and looking for resources to maintain safety and self-care during this pandemic, here are some resources to help guide you:

ALASKA-BASED RESOURCES

Here is a list of crisis and support resources and services to help guide, support, and advocate for you:

NATIONWIDE RESOURCES AND DV/SA RESOURCES

Here are national resources ready to assist you with your specific needs:

  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 24/7, confidential and free: 1-800-799-7233 and through chat.
  • The National Sexual Assault Hotline is 24/7, confidential and free: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) and through chat.
  • The Strong Hearts Native Helpline for domestic/sexual violence provides confidential guidance specifically for Native communities. It is available 7 days a week, 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. AKDT: 1-844-762-8483.
  • The Trans Life Line is a peer support service run by trans people, for trans and questioning callers. This free, confidential hotline is open 24/7 with operators guaranteed to be on call from 6 a.m. to midnight: 1-877-565-8860.
  • The Deaf Hotline is available 24/7 through video phone (1-855-812-1001), email (nationaldeafhotline@adwas.org), and chat for deaf, deaf blind and deaf disabled survivors.

CHILDREN AND FAMILY SAFETY AND RESOURCES

COVID-19 has both short and long-term implications for our families and especially our children. Today, our children are facing multiple and new stressors, including physical and psychological health risks, school and business closures, family confinement, isolation, and economic hardships.

Embrace flexibility. Most children of all ages thrive when they have predictable routines. If your children are preschool age or older, have them participate in the development of a daily schedules. When (not “if”) they go off schedule, remember to be kind to yourself – most of us were not prepared for this.

  • Create a safety plan using this (or other) interactive safety planning tools from Love Is Respect.
  • Speak to a crisis counselor from the Alaska CareLine and Crisis Intervention Hotline
    1-877-266-HELP (4357).
  • Find additional ways to talk with your children about COVID-19 with tips from the CDC and the Associations of School Psychologists.
  • Consider reading with your children “The Story of the Oyster and the Butterfly: The Corona Virus and Me,” written by Dr. Ana Gomez, a therapist who focuses on practicing mindfulness. A Spanish version is also available.
  • With the cancelation of school, play dates, birthday parties, etc., your household calendar is likely wide open – this is a great time bond as a family.
    • Play card or board games
    • Make art or do crafts together
    • Write a letter or make cards for your neighbors
    • Sing, play an instrument, or dance
  • For emotional support and advocacy for parents, contact the National Parent Helpline at
    1-855-427-2736, available Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. AKDT.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

COVID-19 resources to support victims and survivors of domestic violence/sexual assault

We will be updating these resources continuously. If you have information or resources to share, please contact the ANTHC Substance Misuse Prevention Program at saprevention@anthc.org, with the subject line “COVID19 Advocacy Resource.”

COMMUNITY CARE

Social distancing does not have to lead to social isolation. We can take care of each other in this crisis by practicing a few simple steps that help create support and safety with our loved ones, friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

  • Schedule daily and weekly check-in videos/calls.
    • Consider sending a text message like this: “I know things are scary and stressful right now. Could we talk on the phone sometime later today so we can support each other and check in?”
  • Write a handwritten letter to show your love and support.
  • Make sure your community knows when you are available in case somebody needs to contact you during a personal emergency.

Here are some other resources to help you connect:

RESOURCES FOR DV/SA ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS

Make an action plan for how you and your organization will continue to provide essential services. The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) and other national groups have compiled additional resources:

REMOTE WORKPLACE AND TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES

Working from home does not have to change how you respond to your clients. It is important to remain connected with survivors when you are unable to leave your home. National organizations have put together resources to help you navigate how to provide advocacy while working remotely.

SHELTER CARE AND HOMELESSNESS

Here is a list of resources with new and improved guidelines on how to advocate for the homeless population in your community:


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