Going into week three of sheltering at home, social distancing and closed schools and businesses, most families are able to work remotely, focus on creating a fun learning environment for their school-age children and experience the joy of cooking and eating more meals together. But, for victims of domestic violence who are isolated at home with an abuser, the increased tensions and fears are more likely to cause an increase in the violence.
A victim who fears the COVID-19 virus may take the abuse when faced with leaving with their children to go to a shelter or the hospital for care.
Bridges Domestic Violence Center in Williamson County is preparing for an increase in the needs for shelter at a time when social distancing means that less victims can be admitted. Its alternate plan is sheltering victims in remote places off site.
Bridges’ staff is working remotely, providing supportive counseling and therapy to clients virtually and protecting the current residents by sanitizing and almost completely eliminating any outside contact.
At this time, funding is down from grants, and many of Bridges’ clients have been furloughed or lost jobs entirely. They are increasing outreach to transitioned clients with daily and weekly contacts to help them cope with stress and reassuring them Bridges is there to help.
Bridges has also suspended donations of clothing, household items and furnishings.
“As a non-profit provider of essential services, we do continue to rely on the generosity of our donor community in order to continue this essential, life-saving work,” Linda Crockett, founder and executive director, said. “We recognize that many of you may not be able to give at this point in time. And to you, we thank you for all the ways you have supported Bridges Domestic Violence Center in the past, and we look forward to the future with you. For those of you who do feel led or are able to give, I invite you to give online here or the Big Payback events coming up. Now more than ever, we need financial donations to support our services to this community throughout this crisis and into the future. Thank you.
“With most shelters in the Middle Tennessee area at capacity, we will most likely have to add remote sheltering for the next few weeks.”
Donations can be made on at www.bridgesdvc.org.
Bridges Domestic Violence Center is a nonprofit 501c3, and all donations are tax-deductible to the extent of tax laws.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call Bridges’ hotline at 615-599-5777. In an emergency, call 911.