[Last updated Jan. 15, 2021]

As domestic violence and sexual assault programs across our state respond to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in their local communities, we will be sharing resources to help programs stay informed and connected. We will update this post as new information becomes available.

As always, if you have questions, please reach out to Violence Free Colorado staff at info@nullviolencefreeco.org

The Basics:

Coronavirus symptoms (COVID-19) include fever, shortness of breath and coughing.  These symptoms can be associated with a number of illnesses including flu. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Visit the CDC’s COVID-19 page to learn more.

Vaccines: Two COVID-19 vaccines were developed and approved in 2020 and are currently being rolled out in phases with a goal to make distribution as fair and efficient as possible. Even with the vaccine, programs should continue to operate with the assumption that the virus is circulating, and continue with social distancing, handwashing, and mask-wearing procedures.

Current guidance states that because shelter services are voluntary, programs cannot require testing, masks, vaccines, etc. for entrance to services. Programs are encouraged to assist residents in accessing testing, masks and vaccinations if they are doing so voluntarily after they become a client or resident.

Program staff are encouraged to talk with survivors and work through individual issues. If a resident refuses to comply, advocates should seek alternate accommodations that would still allow the person to receive services. However, programs may intervene to maintain safety of all residents. For example if a person refuses to wear a mask or social distance, gets into verbal or physical altercations, aggressively coughs on or seeks to intimidate other residents, they could be reasonable asked to leave services as a rare, last-resort situation.

Learn more from these  NNEDV Vaccine Recommendations.

What programs can do right now:

  • Reach out to your local health department for more guidance and updates about COVID-19, and submit formal requests for PPE.
  • Coordinate with staff to make sure everyone knows how to implement your organization’s disaster management and preparedness plan.
  • Review the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s COVID-19: Coalition Guidance for Programs for technical assistance on confidentiality, protective measures, provision of alternative services and other considerations at shelters.
  • Discuss plans with program staff and community partners to continue essential services and meet the needs of vulnerable populations.
    • Best practices and FVPSA regulations state that programs cannot require survivors to submit to tests or evaluations to access services.
  • Actively encourage employees to stay home if they are feeling sick.
  • Anticipate that survivors may experience loss of work hours or jobs or lack of access to food, and prioritize distribution of flexible, emergency financial, food and long-term housing assistance to accommodate them.

Need help getting started? Use our technical assistance request form or contact us at info@nullviolencefreeco.org.

Let us know how this is impacting your programs, survivors, and their families. Violence Free Colorado is in communication right now with the Domestic Violence Program at the Colorado Department of Human Services and the Office for Victims Programs at the Department of Public Safety. Tell us what you need and what survivors say they need to stay safe and get by.

More information & resources

Thank you to The Colorado Health Foundation, who contributed many of these.

Federal

State

Local

Philanthropic 

Community/workplace recommendations

Courts

How to Help

Culturally specific resources

Immigrant communities

LGBTQIA+

People with disabilities

Resources in languages other than English

Racial and ethnic minority communities

American Indian | Alaska Native | First Nation communities

Health information

Housing and homelessness

Sexual assault resources

Technology, tele-health and tele-advocacy

Transportation

Childcare

Special considerations

  • This may be a frightening and isolating time for survivors and their children. It’s a good time to activate friends and family and community support.
  • There’s been an escalation of stigma and racist backlash toward Chinese and Asian communities in the United States around the COVID-19 virus. Be aware of this heightened chance of violence and the impact it may have on those in your community.

Resources for survivors

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Questions? Contact us at info@nullviolencefreeco.org.