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Help still available for domestic violence survivors despite pandemic

Posted at 12:45 AM, May 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-02 00:45:46-04

INDIANAPOLIS — As things start to gradually reopen, healthcare workers everywhere want to get the message out they're open as well and never closed. They want people to get the treatment they need.

That's especially true for those who work with people dealing with domestic violence.

"We have seen a drop in patients and it's probably because of the COVID pandemic going on," Natalie Calow said.

The drop in patients worries Calow, a forensic nurse examiner who works with Marion County Centers of Hope.

"We see victims of any violent crime, whether it be domestic violence, sexual assault or physical assault," Calow said.

LEARN MORE | Support resources from the Domestic Violence Network

Calow said she wants to ease concerns about seeking treatment because of coronavirus.

"We have a separate entrance for patients who are non-COVID to come in," Calow said. "If they're fearful of coming to the hospital hopefully that'll ease those fears. We give them a mask."

There are still ways to seek help if you're stuck at home with an abuser, whether that's texting 911 or reaching out to area shelters that are still helping survivors.

Jami Schnurpel from the Julian Center wants survivors to know all their options when looking for help.

"Having a text opportunity or a quick email opportunity is crucial and quite honestly life-saving," Schnurpel said.

That's why it's so important to get to people like Calow who can help in dire situations.

"We want to make sure we take that patient out of the abusive household," Calow said.

Anyone who needs help can call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-332-7385, use the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741 or call Connect2Help at 211 or online.