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Everyone is struggling to manage the changes that have come along during the COVID-19 pandemic. For those who are living contently with their families, managing these changes has been easier. Families can work together to sift through the financial and emotional ups and downs that come during these times.
But for some women, being forced to stay at home in isolation has been both frightening and dangerous. Women who have experienced domestic violence in the home are now finding themselves in a difficult situation. In some cases, being isolated at home has made these women more vulnerable to attacks from their partners. The stresses caused by the lockdown can be used as an excuse by some abusers to hurt their partners. In fact, Orange County law enforcement officials have said that they have seen a 25% increase in domestic violence calls. So, what can be done to help victims of domestic violence during this time? How can these women feel safe and get the assistance they need? Here are some resources available for domestic abuse survivors in Orange County, CA.
1. Contact an Abuse Hotline: Here are four hotlines to call if you are suffering from abuse in the home.
Human Options: #877-854-3594. Human Options provides a variety of services for domestic violence victims, including a 24-hour hotline, transitional housing assistance, counseling, and more. They also understand how the pandemic has led to an increase in domestic violence cases and are ready to help.
Interval House: #562-594-4555 &714-891-8121. Serving both Orange County and Los Angeles County, Interval House provides domestic violence services in over 70 different languages.
Laura’s House: #866-498-1511: Laura’s House is a domestic violence shelter that also has a 24-hour hotline. They are still providing all of their typical services during COVID-19.
Women’s Transitional Living Center: 714-992-1931: Women’s Transitional Living Center provides shelter for domestic abuse victims, along with a variety of other services. All services remain intact during COVID-19.
2. If You See Something, Say Something. If you are not a victim of domestic violence, but you know someone who may be, don’t be afraid to contact authorities. Calls remain anonymous, and doing the right thing might save someone’s life. Signs that someone is being abused include unexplained bruises and cuts on their body, especially pertaining to the eyes, lips, neck, wrists, and arms. Sherriff Barnes of Orange County asserted, “I’m would much rather have you call and report suspicious activity and be wrong, then fail to report it and have something terrible happen to one of those members of the community.” In short, please don’t be afraid to report abuse, whether it be of a child or of a woman who is being abused at home. Their life may depend upon it.
Other measures are being implemented right now in order to assist those suffering from domestic violence, as well as for those who see evidence of someone being abused. Orange County authorities are currently developing an app so victims can contact authorities without their partners knowing it. This is a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the uptick in domestic violence cases. There are also many other national domestic violence hotlines and support groups that are available for those in need.
3. Contact Straight Talk Counseling Center. Straight Talk Counseling Center provides counseling services for those who have been victims of domestic violence. We also understand the special needs and concerns of domestic violence victims, which is why we have an exit safety button our website, so domestic abuse victims can exit the site quickly. This ensures that victims have a safe place to research the help they may need without fear of being found out by abusive partners. The counselors at Straight Talk Counseling Center understand the delicate and sensitive needs of those who have suffered abuse, and we have dedicated counselors to assist those who are suffering.