According to The Family Place CEO Paige Flink,
For victims of family violence, sheltering at home due to COVID-19 has been a ticking time bomb. Many of our clients are already accustomed to being isolated from family and friends; they are already restricted on where and when they could go to places; their money is already taken away by their abuser. But for them, sheltering-in-place means their abusers no longer leave their homes. Since most of our clients are low-income, the added stress from economic uncertainty heightens their abusers’ power and control issues. Many victims do not have a moment of peace or respite. They feel that even if they do escape, they cannot flee to friends or family because of the pandemic.
A recent study by UT Dallas found a 12.5% increase in domestic violence during shelter-at-home orders. Therefore, victims in our community need our lifesaving and life-changing services now more than ever. As a first responder and essential business, The Family Place has stayed open from day one of the pandemic to continue providing services to save lives. Since March, we have provided shelter to 665 women, children and men, answered 2,001 hotline calls and provided counseling to 1,169 victims.
Our bilingual hotline workers are available 24 hours a day for anyone calling for help, and we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of crisis calls. Our counselors and case managers are providing virtual therapy and support groups for both individuals and groups if victims cannot leave their homes. In the month of April, we had more new-client counseling intakes than ever before. Our youth violence prevention educators are now teaching online courses, reaching even more children and guardians. Our three emergency shelters have remained open and are still accepting new clients throughout the pandemic by putting stringent health and cleanliness practices into place.
What can you do? Donate your time and treasures to The Family Place today! Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are limiting volunteer opportunities to only virtual experiences or drives for much-needed items-including pantry items, gift cards, back-to school drives, and clothing drives. Our Resale Store also accepts donations of new and gently used clothing, shoes and household items on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Please contact [email protected] for more information.
We desperately need your financial support now more than ever. Since March, we have cancelled our spring and summer fundraising events, and our fall fundraisers will look very different, meaning your generous donations are even more critical. Please visit www.familyplace.org/donate to make a donation today, or mail us a check at The Family Place, P.O. Box 7999, Dallas, TX 75209. Your generosity will help ensure that victims of family violence will continue to have the resources to rebuild their lives free from abuse.
As always, please contact me at 214.443.7711 or [email protected]. We appreciate our community supporters!
* Graphic and photo provided by The Family Place