As we learn to navigate this world in the midst of COVID-19 we need to be aware that this is a dangerous time for all of us, but even more so for those experiencing violence and abuse. Our current reality of social distancing and the looming possibility of a shelter in place order has already or will, force victims to stay in their home and in close proximity to their abuser. Violence causes hurt and fear, for the purpose of gaining power and control, and times like this, wrought with stress, anxiety, fear, and emotional and financial distress can exacerbate the violence people are experiencing within their homes. At the same time, services and access to supports provided by domestic violence agencies, are becoming more limited each day.
In addition to the potential increase in domestic violence, there is also the potential for peer and cyber violence to increase. In response to COVID-19, we are all accessing and using technology at a greater rate than ever before. We must keep in mind how young people, craving social interactions, will be using technology and social media in the coming weeks. As we all learn to create new routines and try to create some semblance of order, we must not forget to continue conversations with our children about internet safety, social responsibility, and general kindness and care for others.
Despite these challenging circumstances, we at the Katie Brown Educational Program are here to offer as much support as we can, as our staff is continuing to carry out KBEP’s mission from our homes. Here’s what we will do to continue to raise awareness; educate; provide support:
- We are checking our office voicemail regularly, but we recommend contacting our staff via email, as that will be the most efficient and immediate way to get in touch with us. Emails for our staff can be found here.
- We have added a new resource page to our website, dedicated to the changes agencies have implemented in response to COVID-19. This page will be shared via social media and can be viewed here.
- Our Education Team is working on digital education. We will share this information via social media and our blog once it is put into place.
- In this time of uncertainty, worry, and fear, it is important that we all exercise self-care. Beginning Monday, March 23rd, use the hashtag #KBEPCares to join our Education Team for self-care, relaxation, and mindfulness techniques. These videos will be uploaded daily, Monday through Friday at 2 pm.
- Our Programs Manager will be available between 8 am-2 pm EST Monday through Friday to immediately respond to questions about our program and to facilitate connections to resources for violence prevention, safety planning, and mental health.
- Our Consent Awareness Pledge will continue through our mobile app. We are committed to providing high school students with a deeper understanding of consent as they transition into adulthood. As we all work together to #flattenthecurve, this is an opportune time for adults to have honest conversations about consent with the minors in their care. We are deeply committed to supporting our friends in the business community during this difficult time and are waiving all ad fees for the CAP program. Businesses will receive free advertising for the remainder of the year in our mobile app. Reach out to our Manager of Communications and Business Development at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- We will continue to raise awareness of the issue of relationship violence by sharing information, articles, and resources. While we are committed to sharing this information on our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram pages, we ask you – our friends and supporters – to share our messages and information on your social media platforms and to follow our social media pages. With your help, we can continue to honor Katie’s life and fulfill our mission.
Please stay safe and healthy.
Claire Spaulding McVicker
on behalf of our staff and Board of Directors