ARLINGTON — Chief Julie Flaherty would like to remind residents that resources remain available for residents who may be experiencing domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Free and confidential support continues to be available 24 hours a day for individuals experiencing domestic violence, those questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship or those seeking resources or information for a friend or family member.
SafeLink is Massachusetts’ statewide 24/7 toll-free, multilingual hotline and a resource for anyone affected by domestic violence.
- SafeLink 24-hour hotline: 877-785-2020
As always, please call 911 in an emergency.
In addition, the Arlington Police Family Services Unit investigates all domestic related assaults and abuse incidents. The Family Services Unit can be contacted at 781-316-3915.
“The Arlington Police Department is committed to staying up to date on available domestic violence resources in the Arlington area,” Family Services Inspector Rebecca Gallagher said. “We are truly thankful for the support these organizations provide to survivors of domestic violence and grateful they are committed to continuing this work through these unprecedented times.”
With the increase in social distancing due to COVID-19, domestic violence may increase in the home as survivors must stay home and are unable to separate themselves from their abuser.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline advises that, though staying home and avoiding public spaces may help reduce the spread of COVID-19, staying home may not be the safest option for survivors. Situations like COVID-19 can add additional stress and financial strain and can create unsafe environments for survivors. COVID-19 may also be used by abusers to control victims. This may include preventing survivors from seeking medical attention if they are experiencing symptoms of the virus or using the virus as a scare tactic to isolate survivors and keep them from seeing children or family members.
“We want anyone who may be experiencing domestic violence to know that, even in the unique and unsure time we are in, resources remain available for anyone who needs them at any time,” Chief Flaherty said.