by Barb Harvey
Over the years as a parent coach, domestic violence group leader, and working with Child Protective Services in both Missouri and Georgia, I have learned that during times of high stress both domestic violence, elder abuse, and child abuse cases rise. Violence in these cases is used as a stress reliver for the abuser. Therefore, if you know of any family dealing with these issues here are a few thoughts on helping them during this time.
1. Encourage women to review and put into practice their Safety Plan.
2. Offer to take the kids for a few days.
3. Pay attention to how your elderly relatives are doing. Check in with their caregivers often, provide them respite and breaks to keep the stress down.
4. Call your local Child Protective Services Office is you suspect violence. Or call the National hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)
5. Get in touch with your local Domestic Violence Shelter and get information on emergency placements. For information you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224.
6. Ask questions.7. Be willing to listen and offer support.
8. Call the police if necessary.
9. Think first do not do things that will put you or your family in danger.
10. If needed be willing to deliver food and other necessary items anonymously, if necessary.
11. Trust you gut and intuition. Sometimes we think something is off and then we talk ourselves out of it. Even if we are wrong it is better to be wrong and work to protect friends and family.
Child abuse and domestic violence are serious issues which are compounded by stressful time. This is a worldwide stressor. Watching out for those we love is important during this time. So, as you watch out for the health and well-being of your elderly relatives to ensure they are protected from cobid-19. Also, pay attention to ensure they are also being protected from abuse. Check in with those you know and suspect who are victims of family violence and do what you can safely do to help them. Be kind, loving and supportive.
Believe in Parenting
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