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 some people, 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 or DART, which includes advocates, service providers, law enforcement and legal professionals, who mobilize to support survivors’ needs.
That team is still at work during the pandemic to protect survivors, with more information at loudoun.gov/DART.
To get help in Loudoun, call or text 911 if anyone is in immediate danger. To reach Loudoun County’s Domestic and Sexual Violence hotline 24 hours a day, every day, call 703-777-6552.
Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224. And if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.
Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673).
Survivors also may make a personalized, practical safety plan. For help with safety planning, call the Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter Hotline at 703-777-6552.
Thursday, Oct. 22 will be “Purple Thursday,” a day set aside to honor victims and survivors of domestic violence when people are encouraged to wear purple to raise awareness.