Domestic Violence is Rising During COVID-19 — And Together, We Can Help
It is heartbreaking to hear that rates of domestic violence are increasing during shelter-in-place orders.
One in four women and one in seven men will experience physical violence from a romantic partner — and we’re seeing this impact now more than ever during COVID-19. Here are some startling statistics:
- 18 out of 22 law enforcement agenices reported a rise in domestic violence in the month of March.
- 72% of reporting from Child Abuse Hotline comes from schools. Many children are at home in unsafe environments with no other trusted adults to look out for them.
- In the state of Texas alone, 42% of requests for emergency shelter are unavailable due to capacity issues during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Police departments are experiencing significant increases in domestic violence calls each day. Innocent children and families are suffering.
Mercury One has jumped into action
Mercury One recognizes all the ways that COVID-19 is impacting lives. Increased violence is happening in our communities and we are partnering the Irving Police Department and supporting Hope’s Door New Beginning Center (HDNBC) to do what we can to help.
Irving Police Department
Mercury One is providing food and supply boxes in partnership with the Irving, TX Police Department to be delivered to families in need after a parent is removed from the home. Many have food insecurity once the primary bread winner is no longer able to provide an income.
Hope’s Door New Beginning Center
Hope’s Door New Beginning Center has highlighted the increased risk to domestic violence victims and the increased stress in the home as a direct effect of COVID19. Their clients are expressing difficulty in leaving their abuser, job loss, lack of childcare, and food insecurity. HDNBC has experienced an increase of 30% in calls requesting resources and support over recent weeks.
Stories from Hope’s Door
Every parent wants to meet the basic needs of their family. Many clients rely on HDNBC’s services to keep them safe, and we want to share some of their stories.
Mary, a typical 39-year-old woman, has two small children ages six and five.
She graduated from the HDNBC 90-day emergency shelter program and is now a transitional housing client. That means she and her children live in safe, subsidized housing, attend counseling services, and check in routinely with an experienced case manager to assess her progression toward independence.
Now, due to COVID-19, her hours have been reduced at work — leaving her anxious about meeting basic needs, concerned about job security, and worried for the unknown future.
She has shared with her counselor via Zoom that she misses the comfort she found in visiting the safety of the HDNBC outreach center.
There are countless tales like Mary’s.
Amanda, a 44-year-old mother of three, fears for the future of her family.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she was let go from both of her jobs at local restaurants. She has no family to help cover her expenses — she relies on the HDNBC food pantry to make ends meet.
She is following leads to find new employment as a cleaner with support for Hope’s Door.
And not all victims of domestic abuse are mothers with young children.
Recently, a 14-year-old male client was making great progress with his counselor to overcome anxiety and depression caused by domestic violence at home.
When COVID-19 struck, he missed counseling appointments since minors aren’t allowed to have counseling sessions over the phone — and he regressed.
His feelings of depression and anxiety worsened in the isolation he feels at home, and in the second week of quarantine, he attempted suicide.
Thanks to his mother participating in his phone sessions, we have been able to get him the help he needs. He now has a safety plan in place.
You can help
Please join with us as we support HDNBC and our partners as we all continue making a difference for individuals and families in need. This is a difficult time for many of us, and especially difficult for some as not everyone is safe in their home.
Social isolation takes an immense toll on our hearts and minds as we crave human connection. We encourage you to do what you can to help — and reach out to those in your community in whatever way you can.
Together, we will get through this. You can pray with us here or share your stories with our team. Let us know how we can be there for you — and consider making a donation to support our COVID-19 relief efforts.