Bethany House Responds to COVID-19
Dear Bethany House Friends and Partners,
Yes, we are still serving survivors of domestic violence!
For nearly 41 years, Bethany House has helped women and children escape the horrors of domestic violence. Many escape with only the clothes on their backs and, if possible, only a few essential papers to allow them to re-create new lives for themselves and their children.
COVID-19 has further complicated the already difficult decision that women have to make as they consider leaving an abusive relationship. They must now weigh leaving the certain and imminent abuse they experience within their homes versus the uncertainty of relocating to a safe house where the abuse will stop but where they will have to begin to build new lives in the face of a pandemic. Now, a woman must ponder whether she or their children will be exposed to the virus, whether she will be able to continue to work, and whether she will be able to continue to follow safety guidelines to help slow the spread of the virus.
As an organization, we must continue to respond to the cries for help from these women, but we also have new considerations to maintain the safety of our current clients in the shelter and in Aftercare as well as the safety of our staff. With that in mind, we are constantly re-examining our protocols as varying needs arise. Here are the ways that Bethany House is continuing to safely provide services during this time so that our clients, staff, and facilities remain virus free:
All new client intakes are quarantined in hotel rooms for 14 days before entering a safe house
Counseling and case management services are primarily conducted remotely to ensure the health and safety of clients and staff
Almost daily, creativity is replacing conventional means to include how groups are conducted to ensure that survivors are assisted
Staff is doing everything possible to enhance the already peaceful environment of the shelter and to reduce the anxiety that may come as a result of being under a stay-at-home order while recovering from trauma. Increased activities are taking place within the shelter to help provide diversion for the ladies and to help them see the opportunities for growth, healing, and rebuilding in this unique time.
We are continuing to monitor the directives and guidelines from our state and local governments and are making adjustments as warranted.
The local stay-at-home orders, while helping to flatten the curve of reported cases of COVID-19, have led to an increase in incidents of domestic violence. We are experiencing an uptick in the amount of calls that we are receiving for help, as well. Although it breaks our hearts, we have had to turn away potential clients whenever we reach capacity and are waiting for a bed to become available.
Please help us with your best donation as we all stretch to serve this very fragile but very courageous population.
God bless you immensely,
Bethany House of Northern Virginia