October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and this year it’s more important than ever that everyone feels safe and healthy at home. With the continued stay at home restrictions that have been put in place since March, there have been a surge in domestic violence cases around the world as families are spending more time together inside. In fact, CNN reports that distress calls to domestic violence helplines have risen by 300% with homicide rates higher than normal this year due to the increased time that toxic couples are spending alone together.
To help victims and survivors of domestic violence, the I Support The Girls organization has upped their efforts in ensuring that those experiencing domestic violence feel supported. The organization, founded in 2015 by a simple Facebook post, now collects and distributes essential items including bras, underwear and menstrual hygiene products to women experiencing homelessness, impoverishment or domestic violence.
I Support The Girls has taken notice that the most dangerous place for a woman to be during the COVID-19 pandemic is in their home with their abuser and with the pandemic surging on as we head into the colder months, it appears that these dangers may only increase. To combat this, I Support The Girls has introduced the DASH (Dignity, Aid, Safety, and Hygiene) Kit to provide victims of violence resources and services to help escape their abusive situations. Knowing that most women leave their abusive homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs, I Support The Girls created the Kit to help replenish what was left behind and also help make the woman feel cared for as they escape.
Each requested kit will be sent to the requestor, whether that be a friend’s house, a family member’s house or a shelter. The kits include menstrual products, underwear, bras, toiletries and socks (if available), a palm-sized card with resources including LGBTQ specific, interpreter services, legal aid, and options for next steps as well as a a tote bag to hold all the items. The goal of this program is to provide fleeing women with products and information to support their quest for safety from dangerous situations.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline domestic violence hotline: 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) and for more on I Support The Girls and the DASH Kits visit their website.