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Message from Catalyst Domestic Violence Services Regarding COVID-19

(para Español, oprima aqui)

The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in our lifetimes. As shelter in place becomes the norm in many places around the country, it's important to acknowledge that home is not a safe place for everyone. Globally, domestic and family violence has soared in China and Italy, two countries greatly impacted by the virus. It's safe to assume that the United States will not be spared this disturbing trend - in times of great distress, the frequency and intensity of domestic violence tends to increase. Those at risk of abuse at home will need our help now more than ever.

During this time of social distancing and possible quarantine, more than ever survivors will be isolated. Being confined to a home that is not safe will lead to escalations of abuse and removes tools of survival such as being able to leave the house to escape or de-escalate abuse. It is important to continue to connect with survivors and offer our support. Catalyst is here not only to support survivors, but also to support friends, family, and service providers in supporting survivors. Call us to think through how you can be there for the survivors you know.

While there are many unknowns right now due to COVID-19, Catalyst Domestic Violence Services wants you to know that we are still here for survivors. We are monitoring recommendations of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the California Department of Public Health, and the Governor’s Office, and making decisions that are grounded in preserving the health and safety of survivors, staff, volunteers, and the community at large. With this in mind, we have suspended our in-person services for the time being, but our hotline and advocacy services remain available by phone.

All of our services are completely free and confidential. Our hotline (1-800-895-8476) is available 24/7 for survivors and their loved ones who are supporting them. Advocacy and counseling services by phone are available and can be accessed 9am-5pm M-F in our Chico Office (343-7711) and 10am-2pm M-F in our Oroville Office (532-6427). While we are unable to currently hold in-person trainings about intimate partner violence, we are working to set up technology for us to do so remotely.

By familiarizing yourselves with some common red flags for abuse, you may have the chance to help disrupt the cycle of abuse and maximize the safety of survivors while they shelter in place:

  • The person appears to be highly concerned about upsetting their partner
  • The person frequently misses or changes plans because of their partner
  • The person has explanations and excuses for bruises or injuries that don't make sense
  • The person's relationship with their partner is defined by a very rigid belief in gender roles
  • The person expresses fear of their partner or their home
  • The person is pregnant
    • Murder is among the leading causes of death for pregnant people in the United States
    • Those under 20 years old and those who don’t have access to prenatal care are at the greatest risk of murder during pregnancy

It takes an average of 7 times to permanently leave an abusive relationship. 75% of domestic violence homicides happen right after the victim attempts to leave, therefore safety planning is essential.

There is no "typical" personality of an abusive partner - just like anyone can be a victim, anyone can cause harm. Abusive partners can be outwardly aggressive or volatile - or they can be incredibly charming or pleasant in between periods of violence.

Relationships that fall under the umbrella of Catalyst services:

  • Current or former spouse or dating partner
  • Live together or have lived together as intimate partners
  • Have a child in common
  • Are engaged in or have been engaged in a sexual relationship

If they are interested in Catalyst services, we are available for phone advocacy 24/7 at (800) 895-8476. Additional resources can be found at catalystdvservices.org, as well as the Catalyst Facebook and Instagram pages @CatalystDVServices.

Please take care of yourselves and each other, and give us a call if we can be of support.

-Catalyst Board, Staff, and Volunteers

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