Moms Share Safety Tips for Staying Home
During Coronavirus Distancing
Social distancing to reduce the spread of the coronavirus may be stressful for most families under ideal circumstances, but if you are a victim of Domestic Violence (DV) in your own home, the DV escalates and the stress to keep things under control for you and your kids is a herculean task.
Domestic Violence may spike during social distancing due to a number of factors including:
Increased financial pressures
Increased alcohol and drug consumption
Increased family pressures and conflict in close quarters
Increased contact with the abuser alone in your home
1: Put the right numbers on speed-dial. If you have a mobile phone, make sure to put the following numbers of speed-dial/in your address book: DV Agencies, family, neighbor in close proximity to your home.
2: Have a ‘Safe’ word/phrase. In violent or emergency situations, you may not be able to text or say much. Have an agreed ‘safe’ word or phrase with your close friend/co-worker or family member who agrees to have their phone on standby to receive any emergency calls/texts. Keep it short and simple.
3: Download a safety app. If you have a smart phone, consider downloading a safety app for women, many of which have been designed to automatically alert your support network if you are in danger. One that is highly recommended is Circle of 6
With Circle of 6 you have a new way to connect with your most trusted family and friends–to stay close, stay safe and prevent violence before it happens!
Circle of 6 lets you choose six trusted friends to add to your circle. If you get into an uncomfortable or risky situation, use Circle of 6 to automatically send your circle a pre-programmed SMS alert message, with your exact location. It’s quick. It’s discreet. Two taps on your iPhone is all it takes. Use Circle of 6 to send your circle a “come and get me” message –with a map using GPS to show your precise location.
In critical situations, use Circle of 6 to call two pre-programmed national hotlines or a local emergency number of your choice.
Circle of 6 is more than a safety application; it’s a community and a state of mind. It fosters the formation of groups based on trust, and it connects users with organizations who have made violence prevention their mission. We hope that the app becomes a vehicle for a social movement that champions safe and healthy relationships.
4: Keep your phone and a money stash on you at all times. Also remember to keep your phone fully charged at all times. You will never know when a situation will erupt, so it is crucial to have it on hand, especially if you know you might be alone with your abuser.
5: Arrange for an ally in advance who would believe and support you, call that person in advance to ask him or her for support and intervention should a situation turn overwhelmingly heated or violent.
6: Video Chat often with family and friends on a regular schedule to provide structure to your day and as a chance to minimize so many hours being "alone" with your abuser. At best, being in virtual company may keep the abuse in check. Make sure to download a video chat app like Zoom or Skype on all of your electronics and children's too in advance and make sure your family and friends have it as well and know how to use it and reach you.. Then when you need it most...request the FaceTime with extended family or friends who can witness the issues.
7: Defuse it. While you may not feel like doing this, walk away from a potentially explosive situation to temporarily alleviate the abuse. Even if he follows you room to room, keep changing rooms. If possible, go outside in front yard and play with kids so you can potentially be heard by neighbors or seen by cars passing by. Plan ahead with an ally or one of his friends or family members who who can call and distract him with a conversation.
8: Always have an escape plan for you, your kids and pets.