Nonprofit organization Alternatives to Violence has launched a dedicated texting service to help victims discreetly reach out for help.
Anyone seeking help regarding domestic violence can send a text message to the texting service at 970-669-5157. With October being Domestic Violence Awareness month, Alternatives to Violence (ATV) will be sharing videos, stats, and tips on how to aid victims experiencing domestic violence throughout the entire month.
With many people adjusting their lifestyles due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those experiencing domestic violence are doing so while trying to find ways to reach out for help. With safer-at-home restrictions lifted in Northern Colorado, ATV has seen a surge in calls to their crisis hotline.
“Calls went down during safer-at-home because victims were having a hard time finding a time and place away from their abuser to reach out for help,” said Executive Director of Alternatives to Violence, Kari Clark. “Now that they’re able to sporadically get out, we have seen significant increases in calls,” Kari said.
The number of calls ATV received from August to September is as follows:
- 195 crisis calls in July. That is a 46% increase from June, a 40% increase from July 2019, and a 180% increase since April.
- 124 crisis calls in August. That is a decrease of 35% from the previous month, but an increase of 31% over August 2019.
- 297 crisis calls during the First Quarter of 2020; 566 crisis calls were received during the Second Quarter; an increase of 91%.
ATV has also seen an increase in severe cases of abuse, mental health issues, and substance abuse.
Different ways Community members and businesses can show their support are as follows:
- Talking to teens or younger adults about what a healthy relationship looks like
- Donating time, money, or Wish List items to a local domestic violence resource center or shelter, like Alternatives to Violence.
- Hanging up flyers with important numbers and information in common areas at work
- Wearing purple. The color purple has long been a representation of those seeking justice.
“Awareness and action are urgently needed right now and we hope Domestic Violence Awareness Month will help,” said Kari. “If we hear or know that someone is in trouble, we need to reach out to help,” Kari said.
For more information regarding Alternatives to Violence, visit: http://www.alternativestoviolence.org or call 970-669-5150