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This blog was originally posted in 2020. Some information may be out of date. For the latest updates on vaccines, testing, screening, visitor policy and post-COVID support, visit EEHealth.org/coronavirus.
Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, domestic violence was a serious health issue on every doctor’s radar.
Once people started staying home to avoid the virus that causes COVID-19, however, domestic violence advocates went on heightened alert.
Because for child and adult victims of domestic violence, home is one of the most dangerous places they could be.
The lockdowns and stay-home orders prompted by COVID-19 early on likely resulted in increased calls to police for domestic violence incidents.
Staying home may keep people safe from COVID-19, but it won’t keep them safe from an abusive partner.
The added stress people are facing because of the pandemic — loss of jobs, fear of getting sick, trying to help kids with remote learning — only increases the risk of violence in an abusive home.
During this pandemic, when people consider making a choice between possibly contracting a potentially deadly virus outside the home and facing physical or mental abuse, fear may cause some to choose the latter.
It’s not that dire of a choice.
Edward-Elmhurst Health has an extensive, thorough COVID-19 safety plan that covers all our locations, including our Emergency Departments. We can safely provide care and we encourage everyone who needs it to seek help.
Check in on people you know who may be in an abusive relationship, ask how they are doing and let them know you’re there if they need you. Get tips for how to respond if your friend tells you they’ve been sexually assaulted.
If you’re struggling or at risk, do what you can to address your daily stress levels — take time for self-care every day (even if it’s just for a few minutes), exercise and sleep. Seek support from a trusted friend or family member. Make a safety plan in advance to help protect yourself in stressful moments.
If you are at risk, reach out to The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 for TTY, or if you are unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522. They are available 24/7 and can work with you to find help in your area.
Our Emergency Departments are open 24/7 and can safely care for you and your family.
Linden Oaks Behavioral Health offers a 24/7 Help Line at 630-305-5027.
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