Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services Announces Release of New Public Service Announcement During COVID-19 Pandemic
Partnership with YWCA of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Highlights Services Available to Victims of Domestic Violence
The Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services today announced the release of a new public service announcement, created in partnership with the YWCA of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County and Safe Futures Collaborative, sharing vital information for victims of domestic violence, including the availability of services during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Services for victims of crime are essential services, especially during a time where many are facing additional financial, physical, and emotional stress,” said Glenn Fueston, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services. “We want people to know that programs and services for victims of crime are still available, and social distancing does not mean they should isolate themselves from those who can help them get to safety and away from their abusers.”
The public service announcement, produced by Red October Productions, highlights the increased risk victims of abuse face during times of increased proximity to their abuser, and other stressors presented by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Domestic Violence is an issue that affects more than 1 in 4 women, as well as 1 in 7 men nationwide. The public service announcement directs anyone afraid of their partner, to seek help by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE, or using the online chat at www.TheHotline.org.
The YWCA of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County reports victims have recently called their hotline to say their abuser told them they could not leave home because of fears of contracting COVID-19 as a means to keep them in an abusive situation.
“We are focused on helping domestic violence service providers remain open and available to help,” said Molly Knipe, CEO of the YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. “While many businesses are closed, emergency response and immediate support continues by way of emergency shelters, 24-hour hotlines, legal advice, counseling, and crisis intake. We want those at imminent risk to know they can reach out, and their call will be answered.”
The Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services has also put together a webpage of resources available to victims of crime and victim service providers. It can be found here: http://goccp.maryland.gov/covid19-victim-resources/.
For daily updates on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak and the State of Maryland’s response, please visit the Maryland Department of Health’s Coronavirus Page: https://coronavirus.maryland.gov.