What is your #1Thing?

By Ashley Wilson
Rise Above Violence

You might have heard domestic violence called “the pandemic within a pandemic.” And while this may be true, the reality is domestic violence is a widespread issue regardless of the presence of a global health crisis. 

Survivors of domestic violence face barriers to safety and support regardless of a global health crisis, but there are additional barriers for survivors during this time. In a typical year, one in four women and one in seven men will experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime (CDC, 2017); we know that those numbers are higher right now. 

Rise has seen over a 50 percent increase in requests for services. On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. A total of 354 victims were served by Rise in 2019 and, in 2020 so far, Rise has served 335 victims with three months to go.

It can be difficult to know exactly what we can do to support survivors during a time of social distancing and health concerns, but there are still many things you can do. 

Listen to survivors, believe them and ask them what they need. If you know someone who is experiencing violence, often just being there is #1Thing that makes a big impact. Often, survivors feel isolated and unsure what to do; listening can be the most helpful thing you can do. If you’re not sure how to help a friend or family member experiencing domestic violence, we’re here for you, too. Call us at 264-9075 to speak with an advocate about the ways you can be supportive.

Follow Rise Above Violence on Facebook and Instagram and share our messages. Victims and survivors face isolation during normal times and that is magnified right now with the current health crisis. Your social media post might be the #1Thing that makes someone not feel alone. It might also open the door for them to feel safe to reach out.

Join our virtual Art Above Violence event this Saturday, Oct. 10, at 6 p.m. We can’t be together in person this year, but you can still make a difference. #1Thing you can do is purchase a ticket. The link to purchase is at riseaboveviolence.org. Tickets start at $15 and all proceeds from this event support victims and survivors right here in Archuleta County. 

During the event, you will get to hear from survivors about their journeys, view amazing dance performances, and hear vocal and other performances based on survivor stories. This event shows the hope and healing that is possible when we come together as a community to support victims and survivors — together we rise.

Tune into our quarterly coffee talk on Facebook Live Oct. 22 at 9 a.m. #1Thing you can do is learn more about Rise Above Violence and the current needs of survivors in our community. The Rise team shares what is currently happening every quarter to keep our community informed.

Join our Snowball Club — As a member of the snowball club, you pledge to support the work of Rise by scheduling a recurring donation of $10 that comes to Rise each month because we know that many small donations make big change. Ten dollars may not seem like much, but $10 covers the cost of one hotline call and when you have many small gifts, it creates big change. #1Thing you can do is give; the cost of two coffees a month ensures that someone in crisis receives that help they need. Learn more at riseaboveviolence.org.

Join with us and pick your #1Thing so that we as a community come together to lift up victims and survivors of domestic violence. 

We’re still here and still open. For support, call us at 264-9075. Our hotline is available 24/7. Whether the state order is “stay at home,” “safer at home” or something else, it’s always allowed for people experiencing abuse to leave home to seek help. 

Rise is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides 24-hour support and advocacy services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault or other forms of violence, serving over 300 victims each year. Rise also works to eliminate violence through education for youth and our community. All programs and services are free and confidential, including emergency prevention education and empowerment programs. Visit www.riseaboveviolence.org for more information or call 264-9075 to talk to an advocate today.

This story was posted on October 9, 2020.