Your guide to helping during COVID-19

Domestic violence increased during the pandemic and stay-home orders.
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It’s been reported that domestic violence is on the rise in West Michigan as a result of COVID-19. Photo by iStock

It’s been reported that domestic violence is on the rise in West Michigan as a result of COVID-19. With more women than ever needing help at this time, a great way to contribute is through a financial donation to one of these organizations: YWCA and Resilience: Advocates for Ending Violence.

“At the YWCA, we’ve been working hard to make sure survivors know we are still here for them during this time — with shelter and rape exams available on-site and our other services, like counseling, legal advocacy and safety planning available via phone or video,” said Charisse Mitchell, CEO of YWCA West Central Michigan.

From financial contributions to donations of cleaning wipes and more, find out how you can help at ywcawcmi.org/covid19.

“We have been able to find alternative ways to safely and confidentially shelter survivors.”
Christina Scarpino

Resilience: Advocates for Ending Violence is seeing a 66% increase in the number of folks seeking safe shelter for themselves and their children through its Safe Nights program, according to Christina Scarpino, development director for Resilience. The organization had to cancel its 28th Annual Reach Gala and Auction, which typically raises up to $90,000 each year.

“We have been able to find alternative ways to safely and confidentially shelter survivors. This has come with added expenses on top of funding our existing shelter,” Scarpino said.

A contribution to the organization’s Safe Nights program can help. A gift of $76 covers the cost of one night for one person in the safe shelter or $532 covers a 7-day shelter stay.

The organization also provides therapy and case management services. “The agency continues to operate with all programs. Thanks to our donors, we are still hosting groups, therapy and housing,” Scarpino said. “Case managers are still meeting with their caseloads and we are accepting new clients as well.”

Visit resiliencemi.org/safe-nights.

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