October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October has been deemed as Domestic Violence Awareness Month by The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. The county is shining the spotlight on the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased the risk of danger to survivors of domestic violence.
They cite the pandemic for creating “an epidemic within an existing epidemic, making it more critical than ever to raise awareness, educate and support survivors.”
So if you are in danger of or living in fear of domestic violence, what can you do? It is true that avoidance of public places, social distancing and working from home can greatly reduce the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, staying home usually doesn't present the best or safest option for survivors. In fact, those who are experiencing domestic violence in families or relations may experience even greater isolation and danger because of social distancing during COVID-19.
The Loudoun County Domestic Abuse and Response Team (DART) includes advocates, service providers, law enforcement and legal professionals, who collaborate in order to support survivors’ needs. Despite the pandemic, Loudoun County domestic and sexual violence service providers want residents to rest assured that:
The DART team is still at work to protect survivors.
Everyone deserves to feel safe in their homes and live a life free of violence.
To get help in Loudoun County:
Call or text 9-1-1 if anyone is in immediate danger.
Call Loudoun County’s Domestic and Sexual Violence hotline 24 hours a day, every day: 703-777-6552.
Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224. If you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.
Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline (RAINN) at 800-656-HOPE (4673). Survivors can call RAINN or chat on the website. It’s free and confidential.
Make a Safety Plan
A safety plan is a plan that includes ways you can remain safe and can help a domestic violence survivor navigate or avoid dangerous situations. An individual safety plan should be created with consideration to a person’s specific situation. Please contact the Loudoun Abused Women's Shelter at (703) 777-6552 so an advocate can assist you.
Do not wait - act now!