Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender identity. It may be physical, sexual, emotional, or include threats of actions that influence another person. It occurs when one person in a relationship wants to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.
During the current COVID-19 crisis, when many people are being asked to stay home to help contain the spread of the virus, these concerns can be heightened.
“As some of our therapeutic services have switched to using video and telephone connection, we must be cognizant that for our clients who are in domestic violence situation, this will pose challenges and possibly present danger,” said Becky Stoll, Centerstone Vice President of Crisis & Disaster Management. “During this time, where clients are no longer coming into the safety of one of our locations, we need to be extra cautious in our interactions with them.”
Heather Kamper, LCSW, an outpatient therapist at Centerstone, offers the following tips related to domestic violence for both therapists and clients to consider when they’re setting up telehealth (video or phone) sessions:
Along with these tips, therapists and clients need to keep in mind that safety must always come first. This could mean having a back-up story for each aspect of therapy, identifying all possible areas of risk and/or contacting The National Domestic Violence Hotline or the local YMCA shelter to get more information and help.
And, of course, if there are ever any immediate dangers, call 911.
If you are in crisis, please call our crisis line, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
If you're still having trouble and would like to reach out to someone about counseling or other Centerstone services, contact us.