The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has proclaimed October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, highlighting the increased danger that the COVID-19 pandemic presents to survivors of domestic violence.
The proclamation cites the pandemic for creating “an epidemic within an existing epidemic, making it more critical than ever to raise awareness, educate and support survivors.”
Avoiding public spaces and working remotely can help reduce the spread of COVID-19, but for many survivors, staying home may not be the safest option. People who are surviving violence in their relationships and families may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by social distancing measures during the coronavirus pandemic.
The proclamation also spotlights the work of the Loudoun County Domestic Abuse and Response Team (DART), which includes advocates, service providers, law enforcement and legal professionals, who mobilize to support survivors’ needs.
Loudoun County domestic and sexual violence service providers want residents to know that despite the pandemic:
- The DART team is still at work to protect survivors.
- Everyone deserves to feel safe in their homes and live a life free of violence.
DART has developed a video and webpage to highlight available local resources.
To get help in Loudoun County:
- Call or text 9-1-1 if anyone is in immediate danger.
- Call Loudoun County’s Domestic and Sexual Violence hotline 24 hours a day, every day: 703-777-6552.
- Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224. If you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.
- Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline (RAINN) at 800-656-HOPE (4673). Survivors can call RAINN or chat on the website. It’s free and confidential.
- Visit loudoun.gov/DART.
Make a Plan
A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that includes ways to remain safe and that can help a survivor avoid dangerous situations. An individual safety plan should be tailored to a person’s specific situation. For help with safety planning, call the Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter Hotline and speak to an advocate: 703-777-6552.
In addition, Loudoun County and its DART partners encourage residents to wear purple on Thursday, October 22, 2020, as part of what is known as “Purple Thursday,” a day set aside to honor victims and survivors of domestic violence.
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