As more people are being told to stay home to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, some advocates worry about a spike in intimate partner violence.
For victims of domestic violence, quarantine orders can be dangerous, trapping them home with their abusers and isolated from people who can help.
“The message is, ‘We are here for you,’ ” Community Safety Network’s Executive Director Andy Cavallaro said. “This is when we are needed most and we are actively supporting our clients and community at this critical time.”
The Community Safety Network, which provides shelter, safety and resources for survivors affected by domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking, is implementing procedures in order to continue emergency placements and keep staff members and survivors safe, Cavallaro said.
“It is challenging to provide services in the most normal of circumstances to victims and survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual violence and stalking,” Cavallaro said. “When you add the intensity and lack of clarity in how everyone is operating and trying to adjust it adds another layer of challenges. But I think what we have really tried to focus on is providing a safe place for people affected.”
CSN is adjusting and is still providing emergency shelter services, Cavallaro said.
“Feeling isolated and in a smaller space there are financial stresses and those can contribute to an increase in unsafe environments for families,” he said.
Stressful and uncertain times often enhance the need for CSN’s services.
“We have been steady with a slight increase,” Cavallaro said.
As the pandemic affects people’s health, businesses and livelihoods, Cavallaro expects to see a decrease in funding for many nonprofits.
“In the short term all our funding resources are in place,” he said, “but as we move forward there will be challenges we will need to navigate. Donors are going to feel the crunch.”
To donate, visit CSNJH.org or mail to P.O. Box 1328, Jackson, WY 83001.
If you feel unsafe at home you’re advised to call for help or at the very least tell a trusted friend or neighbor who can help you take action.