The COVID-19 domestic violence phone bank helps to meet the needs of domestic violence victims trapped during COVID-19 shelter-in-place. Through referrals from law enforcement and approved referring agencies, victims have access to curated hotel rooms, groceries, toiletries, sober living resources, mental healthcare resources, local transportation and travel resources and fostering assistance for victims and their pets through our partners. We are adding more valuable resources daily.
Victims face extreme violence at home regularly. However, during the COVID-19 Shelter-in-place order, these victims have very limited options when it comes to dealing with this violence. There is an increase in aggravated assault calls to local law enforcement due to the mix of alcohol consumption and domestic violence.
Local emergency shelters are normally full and now not accepting new clients because of the Coronavirus and the infection risk to their current population and staff. Also, victims are afraid to leave their homes and their abusers often use the COVID-19 pandemic to further manipulate and isolate them from their circles of influence. Victims are being asked to choose between becoming ill from the Coronavirus inside an unknown shelter environment with people they do not know and staying in their violent homes with their abusers for the foreseeable future.
As health systems, hospitals, medical facilities and emergency shelters become increasingly taxed, victims will have difficulty accessing the necessary medical services they need in case of physical harm.
In order to meet the needs created by the gap in services for domestic violence victims during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order, Survive2Thrive Foundation has launched a new phone bank staffed by remote volunteers and paid staff, as well as a fundraiser to place families in need of temporary housing into some of the now vacant hotels in Austin. This initiative benefits Austin community in 3 ways:
- Removes domestic violence victims from unsafe homes while allowing them to maintain the safety and social distancing measures ordered by the City of Austin to prevent the spread of COVID-19;
- Generates income opportunities for those unemployed due to COVID-19;
- Generates income for hotels whose revenue was greatly impacted by the cancellation of SXSW 2020.
IMPORTANT! The COVID-19 Domestic Violence Phone Bank is not open to the public. Victims can get access to services through referral from a local law enforcement agency or an approved referring agencies.
Local approved referring agencies are: The National Domestic Violence Hotline, Hope Alliance, SAFE Alliance, and the Texas Advocacy Project.
Victims MUST who have been placed on the waitlist at a local Austin shelter and/or have filed a police report with a local law enforcement and have a police report number.
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT! PLEASE VOLUNTEER AND DONATE!
Please volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To donate money for the resources we are supplying the victims, click here.