A Glimpse into the Life of a Survivor
by Christina Hays
I think we can all agree that the year 2020 has been a remarkable one. We have experienced a global pandemic, and we are living through a human rights movement. It seems with each passing month a new part of history is revealed in America. I believe to say we were unprepared is an understatement. Some day we will remember 2020 as the year of change.
In January, American news stations started sharing information about the Coronavirus. It was sweeping the globe, and some European countries were devastated with hospitals overrun and trying to save as many as possible. Most thought this is not an American problem, and some hoped it would not become one. Just a few weeks later, the first person in America tested positive for this new virus. Suddenly cities were posting curfews and telling people to avoid large groups. As the numbers of positive tests came back, whole states were issuing orders to stay inside and stay safe.
Suddenly our nation was asked to quarantine to help stop the spread of this virus. People were afraid. Most tried to stay home as much as possible. Others were deemed essential and kept working. Some were laid off while others had to stay home with children as schools and daycare facilities were ordered to close. People started trying to find new ways to connect via the internet and telephones. Staff meetings, birthday parties and family reunions all took place online while we waited out the virus. Little did most people know that the virus was not the only pandemic running rampant.
Domestic violence is a pandemic that takes lives just as frequently, if not more, than any virus. In the United States, one in four women report domestic violence. This is just the number of women that have the courage and access to report this crime. As frightening as it was when our nation closed its doors and stated it was too dangerous to go outside, it was even more frightening for those who live in violent homes. Suddenly they had no reprieve from the violence that was constantly inflicted upon them; their abuser was with them all the time.
If you were scared to go outside, to go to the store, or to speak with your neighbors and friends during the Covid-19 pandemic, you got a small glimpse into the life of someone experiencing domestic violence. If you were scared all the time that someone you love may contract this virus and die, you know what the family or friends of someone living with domestic violence feels. Violence in homes is much more predominant than any virus.
Crisis Services of North Alabama’s mission statement clearly states that we respond to individuals and families in crisis. We also welcome diversity and stand alongside those who seek social justice. If you or anyone you know is experiencing a crisis we have a 24/7 crisis counseling line called HELPline that can be reached at 256-716-1000. Crisis counselors are available to talk with you. If you or someone you know is or has experienced sexual assault or domestic violence we have services available in Jackson, Madison, Morgan and Limestone counties.
Our local Jackson County office can be reached at 256-574-5826.