Yes, victim services are still available
Domestic Violence Protection Orders are still accessible. While COVID has impacted court services, victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking can still file for Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPO)
For more detailed information on the DVPO process, click here to see the Supreme Court of WV video that explains this process.
If you want an advocate to help you with this process, support you or just to talk at any time, visit our partners page here.
While our nation is receiving guidance about dangers from COVID-19 that includes staying home in isolation from others, for some, home is where the greater danger lies. “Perpetrators of domestic violence commonly try to isolate victims and cut off their relationships with coworkers or friends or family,” said Allison Randall, vice president for policy and emerging issues for the National Network to End Domestic Violence. “Not being able to go to work and connect with your colleagues, it can certainly increase your vulnerability.”
As families are retreating to their homes, domestic violence survivors are in greater need of services. WV licensed domestic violence programs are adapting to meet this ever-changing need. The 14 WV domestic violence programs are adjusting their services to minimize the spread of COVId-19 and still providing some kind of 24/7 free and confidential services to survivors and their family members that includes crisis counseling, assisting with resources, and shelter and more. Service adjustments include:
- Minimizing in-person staffing
- Following social distancing by Pausing gatherings (i.e. support groups, housing meetings, etc) – conducting digitally and/or meeting one-on-one with social distancing
- Increasing mobile, phone/video advocacy
- Following guidelines in shelters (i.e. disinfecting, hand washing, quarantine within shelter, advocacy with healthcare providers & testing, wearing masks, etc.)
- Providing alternative housing/shelter
If you or someone you know needs services, we recommend checking in with your local victim service provider to see what services look like in your area. Click here to find a program in your area.
WVCADV office staff have moved to working remotely until at least March 31. Our staff has been connecting with victim service programs through various means of technology in an attempt to solve problems, provide information and resources, and help programs meet survivors’ needs.
We are appreciative and in awe of how our victim service programs continue to work together during a crisis to ensure the least disruption of services possible. You can visit our website at www.wvcadv.org for updates.
WVCADV will continue to provide legal services to the extent possible according to the guidance provided by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. We are grateful for our partnership with Legal Aid of WV for adapting and continuing their services to meet the civil legal needs of survivors. For LAWV information and resources for victims of domestic violence during the COVID-19 crisis, click here.
Thank you to everyone who have reached out, stepped up, volunteered and checked on your friends, family and neighbors.
Joyce & Tonia
For more information:
“Home is not a Safe Place for Everyone” HuffPost, Politics, 3-12-20 https://www.huffpost.com/entry/domestic-violence-coronavirus_n_5e6a6ac1c5b6bd8156f3641b?ncid=APPLENEWS00001
*Programs are still operating, but may change procedures throughout the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. We’ll post updates as they happen*