Help is available for abuse situations

DAILY NEWS FILE PHOTOLauren Berger of RESTORE, center, speaks during a Wyoming County Board of Supervisors meeting. Help is available for isolated residents in abusive situations.

While non-essential workers to continue to stay and work from home until at least April 15, not everyone will be safe indoors.

For the people who are self-isolating with their abuser, RESTORE continues to staff its 24-hour confidential hotline at 1 (800) 527-1757. It covers Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties to provide information, support, referrals and help for planning to stay safe.

“Without access to resources like school, church or friend groups, it can be difficult to overcome the isolation — often already present in abusive relationships,” said Lauren Berger, RESTORE training coordinator. “Therefore, connecting people to the resources to meet their basic needs is an important first step before trying to establish some routines, such as taking a solitary walk once each day or having a daily ‘text check-in’ with a close friend using emojis or a number, such as 1, to indicate feeling low and 10 to indicate feeling excellent, can be a sort of ‘code.’

“But as before COVID-19, we know that survivors are the experts in their own lives,” she continued. “Supporting each survivor’s individual choice and working with them to meet their needs, just as always, is how we will navigate through these next several weeks.”

Berger said RESTORE is able to coordinate follow-ups with methods that work for the survivor — which might include a phone call or video chat, or it may be e-mailing or texting, for someone who is not able to speak freely in their current environment. They are also working with their partners in the medical and criminal justice fields to keep up-to-date on options for survivors; although the courthouse buildings are closed, there are still options for filing orders of protection.

“We are encouraging everyone in need of more information to reach out to our hotlines, our social media (@RESTOREsas on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and at RESTORE@ppcwny.org,” Berger said.

The YWCA of Genesee County during this time remains open at this time at (585) 343-7513, as well as the Willow Domestic Violence Center in Rochester at (585) 222-7233. Willow also has a 24-hour text line at (585) 348-7233.

The following is a state list of resources for anyone experiencing intimate partner abuse:

• Anyone whose life is in immediate danger should call 911.

• The National Domestic Violence 24-hour hotline is: 1 (800) 799-7233, or for TTY: 1 (800) 787-3224.

• The New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence 24-hour hotline is 1 (800) 942-6906, or for the deaf or hard of hearing: 711.

• The 24-hour live-operated bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline for the Violence Intervention Program is 1 (800) 664-5580.

The New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence provides a directory of available programs by county: NYSCADV.org/find-help/program-directory.html.

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