Where to Turn for Help During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Nearly one in five women say they have experienced physical violence from a partner during their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And about one in seven men say the same. This is in “normal” times. With the added stress to relationships brought on by the COVID-19 coronavirus, we wanted to make community members aware of domestic violence resources in Tucson, elsewhere in our state and at a national level.
Even usually strong relationships are being tested right now. As fears of the virus cause continuing isolation and economic fallout, anxiety is sure to rise even more. In families with a history of domestic violence, the danger to vulnerable people increases. For spouses getting divorced, the coronavirus pandemic only adds fuel to what may already be a smoldering fire. Disputes about financial issues, child custody and other concerns may be ramped up.
Getting help is critical if you or a loved one is experiencing domestic violence. Or even if you think it is a possibility. The following sections provide local and nationwide resources that you can contact for help.
If you are in immediate danger, leave this page and call 911 right away.
Get Help from These Domestic Violence Resources in Tucson
Nobody deserves to be abused at any time. The tension caused by the coronavirus pandemic is not an excuse. If you are living in a domestic violence situation or believe you may be in danger in the future, you can contact these organizations in Tucson. They offer crisis counseling, information on shelters and a variety of other services. However, if you are in immediate danger, don’t call the numbers listed below, dial 911.
- ARC—Administration of Resources and Choices. ARC has a late-life domestic violence program for people 55 and older. It provides counseling, referrals to shelters, safety planning and other services in English and Spanish. Call (520) 623-3341.
- Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse. This organization provides 24-hour emotional support, safety planning help, shelter information and more. Call the 24/7 bilingual crisis line toll free at (888) 428-0101.
- Children’s Advocacy Center of Southern Arizona. The Center provides advocacy and investigative help to victims of child abuse and their non-offending parents. Call (520) 724-6600.
Additional Domestic Violence Resources in Arizona and Nationally
In addition to local organizations, here are additional domestic violence resources in Arizona and nationally. Again, if you are in immediate danger, don’t call the numbers listed below, dial 911.
- Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Located in Phoenix, this statewide organization delivers support and resources to victims of sexual and domestic violence. Its bilingual helpline is available Monday thru Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Call 602-279-2980.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It offers safety planning, emotional support and other assistance to people experiencing domestic violence. Additionally, this national resource provides help to abusive partners about how to de-escalate their own behaviors. Call the hotline at (800) 799-7233. If you can’t speak safely, you can log into the hotline at the website or text LOVEIS to 22522.
- RAINN. RAINN is the country’s largest anti-sexual-violence organization. It operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline and provides other help for people who have been victims of sexual violence. Call (800) 656-4673.
Helping Prevent Spouse Abuse and Other Abusive Relationships
The organizations listed above also provide information about recognizing whether abuse is taking place. Sometimes people who are in abusive relationships aren’t quite sure they are being abused, especially if they have never experienced a non-abusive relationship. Abusive relationships can exist between spouses, children and elderly parents, non-married partners and others.
Warning Signs of Abuse
Here are just some of the warning signs from the National Domestic Violence Hotline that a partner is abusive and may become violent:
- When they are extremely jealous of time spent away from them
- When they discourage you from seeing friends and family members
- When they seek to control all the money spent in the home
- When they try to control who you see or what you do
- When they put you down or demean you in front of other people
- When they try to prevent you from working or attending school
- When they threaten to take away your children or hurt your pets
- When they use guns, knives or other weapons to intimidate you.
If Someone You Know Is a Victim of Abuse
Additionally, if you believe someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, the organizations listed above provide information about how you can give support. While you cannot force them to leave, you can . . .
- Listen to them without judgement if they want to talk.
- Remind them the abuse is not their fault.
- Encourage them to seek help from a domestic violence resource.
- Support them in developing a safety plan for leaving or staying, whatever they choose to do.
- Continue to support them no matter what they choose to do.
How to Report Obvious or Suspected Child Abuse
If you see a child in immediate and life-threatening danger due to child abuse, call 911. If you believe child abuse is occurring but aren’t sure, you can make an anonymous call to the Arizona child abuse hotline at (888) 767-2445 to report it. For more about reporting child abuse in the state visit the Department of Child Safety website.
Contact Our Tucson Family Law Attorney for Legal Questions
Whether domestic violence begins as a result of coronavirus stressors or whether it has been an ongoing issue, it is not normal, and it is not okay.
At TNK Law, we put families first. If you are the victim of domestic violence, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the resources we have included here to protect yourself. Or if you suspect someone you know is being abused, these resources can guide you about how to help. Safely speaking up about domestic violence is the right thing to do.
If you have legal questions or otherwise need the assistance of an experienced family law attorney, contact TNK Law today at 520-629-9909. We are here for you and your family.