At Peace Over Violence, the safety and wellbeing of staff, survivors and our Los Angeles community are foundational concerns. With that in mind, we have been working diligently, creating protocols and taking all precautionary measures against the coronavirus pandemic.
On Friday, March 13, 2020, Peace Over Violence decided to temporarily close both of our centers—Metro and West San Gabriel Valley—to in person services, until further notice, as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus. Though our physical space is closed temporarily, we continue to provide critical, life-saving services to survivors and the community by allowing and equipping staff and volunteers to work remotely and utilizing technology to make our services available over the phone and online.
We have been working internally to ensure that staff and volunteers are supported and prepared in this transition to being a remote workplace and service provider. We have established protocols that support organizing with each other to stay safe while still responding to survivors in Los Angeles. We know what we need to do, and we are committed to doing it together as we go through this extraordinary and unprecedented time. We are practicing social distancing in solidarity with all of our partners, collaborators and all of you.
Three weeks ago, we established the Coronavirus Crisis Team, composed of diverse members from Peace Over Violence’s leadership. Our staff is skilled in trauma-informed crisis management and have been putting those skills into practice in our daily meetings. This team is committed to swift action and mobilizing resources decisively in the implementation of a concrete emergency plan. Through these actions, we hope to demonstrate that the virus’ spread is not inevitable and that together we will get through this.
We are collectively preparing for the possible increase in domestic violence incidents since home is not always a safe place for everyone. Peace Over Violence operates the longest-running domestic and sexual violence hotline in the country. This is a safe and trusted intimate space, staffed by trauma-informed experts twenty-four hours a day. We are acting responsibly and ethically by not abandoning our commitment to serve survivors, families and our community. We are heartened by the response from our funders who want to lift up and support our work, and who know how essential Peace Over Violence is to the social justice network and critical service provision. Our top priority as a trauma-informed and healing-centered agency is to care for ourselves, our loved ones, survivors and our communities. Along with children, the elderly and the immune-compromised, survivors of trauma from sexual and domestic violence are also a vulnerable population.
With the goal of practicing trauma-informed, survivor-centered prevention work in this climate of crisis, we affirm that we are responding and taking precautions in solidarity with everyone’s struggles to overcome this pandemic. We reject racist, xenophobic attempts to spread anti-Asian sentiment. We recognize the vulnerabilities of those on the margins and those less equipped to survive upheaval. We are also committed to continuing to raise consciousness about the issues of sexual and domestic violence and believe wholeheartedly that our work will continue to be an urgent social and public health issue. It is important that we do everything we can to contain the spread of this virus now and protect the health of our community. We expect and are prepared to be as responsive as possible, for as long as it takes. We call for the best of us to come forward.
MUTUAL AID AND CARING FOR EACH OTHER
This is an opportunity for us to learn new things—including how inadequate some of our societal systems truly are. These new learnings will hopefully serve us as a nation when we get to the next new normal, whenever and whatever that looks like. This is also an opportunity to find new ways to expand our capacity to connect and support each other. At Peace Over Violence, we commit to taking this opportunity to care for each other and our communities. We will continue to update you as new developments arise. Please stay healthy, and remember that our crisis counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide support, information, compassion, referrals and advocacy.
LA Rape & Battering Hotline
626.793.3385 | 310.392.8381 | 213.626.3393
and the POV Coronavirus Crisis Team