For current victims of domestic violence, this order is the beginning of daily abuse. If the victim of domestic violence is employed at a “non-essential” business, then this person will no longer be able to leave his or her home for work which is most likely any sort of reprieve or respite from his or her abuser.
If this person’s partner or spouse is also deemed “non-essential” at his or her employment, then the victim’s phone, tablet, computer, etc. could be closely monitored and the victim would be unable to summon help. There is also the added stress of an unknown financial situation, children at home at all times, the close proximity living situation at all hours, and just general uncertainty. This provides a perfect storm for victims of domestic violence and there is always a chance that victims may not survive his or her abuse during this time.
It would be irresponsible of me and the Jingle Jam 10K Board of Directors if we were to ignore the issues that victims of domestic violence are facing during this time. The freedom I have to communicate with my friends and family through social media, Facetime, Zoom meetings, and phone calls is not a luxury some of these victims have. The feelings of hopelessness and helplessness are amplified by the “Shelter In Place” order. This isolation can be devastating.
SafeHomes has reported a decrease in domestic violence calls because victims are now with their abusers 24/7 and don’t feel safe to call or email or help. Additionally, children who typically reach out to their school counselors for help and/or support because of domestic violence in the home are now unable to because of mandated school closings.
Furthermore, victims of domestic violence are no longer considered a high priority at hospitals and emergency rooms due to the large volume and critical conditions of COVID-19 patients. Victims are now suffering in silence like never before.
My dear Jingle Jammers, on behalf of the Jingle Jam 10K Board of Directors, we are calling all of you to action. Due to social distancing guidelines, SafeHomes has canceled almost all fundraising activities until further notice. SafeHomes relies on grants, private donations, and fundraisers like Jingle Jam 10K to provide services to victims of domestic violence in 10 counties such as a 24-hour crisis line, 30-day emergency shelter, support groups, counseling, legal advocacy and more.
If you are able, would you please donate to Safehomes now? If you own a restaurant, would you be able to donate a meal to the shelter residents? If you own a company that manufactures and/or sells cleaning supplies, would you be able to donate cleaning supplies to keep our shelter sanitary and mitigate spreading COVID-19? If you know or suspect that a family member, friend, acquaintance, co-workers, a neighbor is being abused, will you please call to check on him or her? If you hear or witness what you suspect is domestic violence in action, will you please ignore the urge to say “It’s none of my business” and call the police instead?
Jingle Jammers, we are asking you for help and calling you to action. In the 9 years that I’ve witnessed the support of Jingle Jam 10K and our mission to turn victims of domestic violence into survivors, you have never let me down. I suspect you won’t let me down in the 10th year either.
Goldei (JJ10K Race Director)