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Staying Safe at Home

Staying Safe at Home

Ways to Stay Safe for Victims of Domestic Violence

If you need support, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233, TTY 1-800-787-3224 or thehotline.org, or by texting LOVEIS to 22522.

You can also reach the Ohio Sexual Violence Helpline at 1-844-OHIO-HELP(1-844-6446-4357) or ohiosexualviolencehelpline.com.

The Stay At Home Order announced by Governor Mike DeWine specifically exempts victims of domestic violence. The order states: “Individuals whose residences are unsafe or become unsafe, such as victims of domestic violence, are permitted and urged to leave their home and stay at a safe alternate location.”

Some ways to stay safe, from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) and the National Domestic Violence Hotline:

  • Create a safety plan. A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that includes ways to remain safe while in a relationship, planning to leave, or after leaving. Learn more here and here.
  • Consider alternative places of shelter, such as a family or friends home or a motel, or sleeping in your vehicle.
  • Try to maintain social connections online or over the phone, if it is safe to do so, and try to stick to your daily routines as much as possible.
  • Make a list of supportive people and have regular check-ins via phone or video chat.
  • Take breaks outside, keeping social distancing (stay at least 6 feet away from others as much as possible) in mind.
  • Consider what places in your home are easy to get in and out of during a conflict.
  • Create a code word to share with your support network to indicate when you need immediate help.
  • Make and hide an ‘escape bag’ with your important documents, medicine, keys, and other items.
  • Practice self-care. Be gentle with yourself

Ways COVID-19 could uniquely impact intimate partner violence survivors, from the National Domestic Violence Hotline:

  • Abusive partners may withhold necessary items, such as hand sanitizer or disinfectants.
  • Abusive partners may share misinformation about the pandemic to control or frighten survivors, to keep them away from their children or family, or to prevent them from seeking appropriate medical attention if needed.
  • Abusive partners may withhold insurance cards, threaten to cancel insurance, or prevent survivors from seeking medical attention if they need it.
  • Programs that serve survivors may be significantly impacted –- shelters may be full or may even stop intakes altogether. Survivors may also fear entering shelter because of being in close quarters with groups of people.
  • Survivors who are older or have chronic heart or lung conditions may be at increased risk in public places where they would typically get support, like shelters, counseling centers, or courthouses.
  • Travel restrictions may impact a survivor’s escape or safety plan – it may not be safe for them to use public transportation or to fly.
  • An abusive partner may feel more justified and escalate their isolation tactics.

For answers to your COVID-19 questions, call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).

If you or a loved one are experiencing anxiety related to the coronavirus pandemic, help is available. Call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 (1-800-846-8517 TTY); connect with a trained counselor through the Ohio Crisis Text Line by texting the keyword “4HOPE” to 741 741; or call the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services help line at 1-877-275-6364 to find resources in your community. 

Prevention Infographic

Protect yourself and others from COVID-19 by taking these precautions.

  • Stay home 
  • Practice Social Distancing
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals
  • Wash hands often with water and soap (20 seconds or longer)
  • Dry hands with a clean towel or air dry your hands
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces
  • Clean and disinfect "High-Touch" surfaces often
  • Call before visiting your doctor
  • Practice good hygiene habits 

If you have questions regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 please call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634)


High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

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