As we cope with the COVID-19 crisis, many of us need a reminder that other social problems continue to take place and can even accelerate in times like these. April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and essential services are still in place that can help victims get the help they need.
Christina Flood, Executive Director of Healing Hearts Home, said, “The quarantine, labeled “Stay Safe, Stay Home”, is adversely affecting the overall safety and health of those who are most vulnerable. Especially, for individuals living in unsafe homes. They are at risk while they are in isolation, due to the fact that they are not physically visible and are separated from mandated reporters and others who can help them be safe in their home. We all must work together. If you suspect someone is being abused, know someone is being abused, or are being abused yourself, please call the Michigan abuse hotline at 855-444-3911.”
Michigan’s Sexual Assault Hotline 855-VOICES4 provides 24/7 immediate crisis counseling and referrals to community based sexual assault programs across the state. There was an extension to the hotline added last year that now allows survivors to text 8666-238-1454 for support.
Sexual assault is broadly defined as any form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent. National statistics show that one in three women and one in six men experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime. In times of crisis, abuse rates may actually increase as financial pressures, stress, and social distancing directives put additional strain on the poor coping skills and the addictive behaviors of abusers.
For local options, contact:
Blue Water Safe Horizons Crisis Line: 888-985-5538 www.bwsh.org
Healing Hearts Home: 586-727-0674 www.healingheartshome.org
Reporting for WGRT – Jessie Wiegand