Local help for domestic violence victims quarantined at home


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – With a state-wide quarantine now in effect, it’s vital that those who are victims of domestic violence still have access to help.

  • Unique concerns and unintended consequences for victims (As Cities Around the World Go on Lockdown, Victims of Domestic Violence Look for a Way Out)
    • Isolation by an abuser: Now, reinforced by lockdowns. 
    • Economic abuse: Now, job loss or insecurity makes it hard/impossible for a victim to become financially independent of the assailant
    • Victims hesitant to reach out for help: Now, they also fear contracting the virus themselves (DV creates/exacerbates many health conditions) or potentially exposing loved ones or friends.
    • Sense of powerlessness that abusers feel: Now, exacerbated by the lack of control that the pandemic causes. Abusers will take that out on their victims

YWCA also always teams up with the Gazelle Girl Race.

  • Despite the change from a traditional race to a virtual race, Gazelle Girl is still an important part of the YWCA’s work, particularly this year. 
    • The non-profit community expects to be significantly impacted by the pandemic. Disruption in government funding; less support from individuals and companies due to job loss/ anxiety; and increasing need for services
    • Special thanks to all the GG runners who have opted to participate in the virtual race. 
  • A virtual race and a survivor’s journey have a lot in common… Physically, you may be alone, but there is a whole network of people who you can still connect to, who are supporting you, and who are cheering you on.  
  • Part of what sets GG apart from other runs is how intentional the organizers are at fostering an empowering, supportive environment so that no one feels that they are alone in their journey — whether you’re a first time runner training for a “live” race or a virtual one. It’s similar to the kind of environment the YWCA works to create for survivors each and every day.

For more details about YWCA, click here.

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