Domestic Violence During Quarantine
Imagine if the whole world is telling you to stay at home, but home is the most dangerous place for you to be. For millions of victims of domestic violence, this has been their reality for almost 11 months. For many victims, going about everyday life chores is their respite from the toxic environment of their homes. Victims talk about the joys of slowly walking the aisles of the grocery store or showing up at their kids’ school early for pick-up just to minimize time at home and grab some safe alone time. For those who work outside the home, their co-workers were their support system and the only people checking in to see if they were OK. Or maybe the best time of the day was when their violent partner was gone at work. COVID -19 restrictions asked folks to avoid public places, closed schools and asked employees to work from home if they could. For many of us, these changes have been inconvenient, for domestic violence victims, these restrictions have been terrifying. We don’t believe it is a coincidence that Lorain County has seen more domestic homicides since March 2020 till December 2020 than the past 3 years, COMBINED. We have heard of victims who have needed medical attention that were too afraid to go to a hospital in fear of getting COVID-19. Or victims wanted to move out but there was a freeze on rentals or moving companies were suspending services. For students, this has presented additional issues. When home isn’t a safe place, the caring adults at school become life savers. As a prevention educator I have spent 2 decades going into schools all over Northeast Ohio speaking to students about domestic violence, healthy relationships and personal safety. After almost every class, there are at least 2-3 students lined up to ask my advice or need my support. Comments range in severity of “I have a friend who was going through this and I need to know what to say to them” to “I am going to kill myself tonight.” Who are these kids talking to now? Just like everyone else, I am anxious to get back into the community and do the work that I am passionate about doing. In the meantime, we at the Genesis House are still here, we have never closed. Our services might look a little different for now, but our mission is still the same.
Prevention Programs Are Available
Genesis House’s Community Educator has been presenting virtually via Zoom during the Fall Semester. In middle and high schools, we have successfully delivered the Safe Dates curriculum in two different ways. First through Zoom, where we present the curriculum as normal and secondly through our pre-recorded lessons accessible through YouTube. Over the last months we have recognized significant benefits for students who are learning about healthy dating and domestic violence prevention through our zoom presentations. There is more participation than ever from students with the utilization of the chat feature while also providing an avenue for students to confide in our educator privately via chat. This method has proven successful for the reason that youth are more comfortable sharing vulnerable information about their experiences and questions privately without fear of judgement from their peers. There is a heightened level of comfortability when students are behind a screen, especially when discussing sensitive topics in a classroom setting. For additional information on topics available and/or to schedule a presentation via live or remote, please contact Liyana Asmar at email@example.com
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
We have put together a Teen Dating Violence Awareness Action Guide to help teens and schools work together to end dating violence. It includes a schedule of events for the month including in-school and social media campaigns that any school can implement. We know that 83% of teens would rather turn to a friend over a trusted adult for support if abused. The only way we are going to end TDV is to empower teens to speak up and speak out is by partnering with them. For additional information and/or a copy of the guide contact Liyana Asmar at firstname.lastname@example.org or download it at www.genesishouseshelter.org/teens
NEW POSTER ALERT!
Perfect for any age/gender • Available in double-sided for windows and glass doors • Available in Spanish • Perfect for bathroom stalls, bulletin boards, classroom walls and hallways • FREE! Contact Meg McIntyre to get yours! For more information about about the Genesis House and our programs please go to www.genesishouseshelter.org or contact Meg McIntyre at 440.233.4114 email@example.com.