The sudden uptick in calls to The Retreat’s 24-hour emergency hotline startled Loretta Davis, executive director of the safe haven for domestic abuse victims. And even stranger were simultaneous upticks at the four remaining agencies across Long Island that same day.
The surge in calls motivated Ms. Davis to reach out to the local paper — and when my editor asked me to take the story, I immediately accepted.
But not before my body went hot, and my hands started shaking, and I felt an all-too-familiar trauma response that I thought I’d left far behind.
I am a survivor of domestic abuse. I know firsthand how impossible it can feel to leave, and the subsequent terror that you will be found — fears that, I’m sure, are only amplified against the backdrop of an international pandemic.
But I promise you, there is a way out — and you are not alone.
At the bottom of the article, I’ve included a list of resources: emergency numbers and a sample safety plan, as well as a checklist to help you determine whether you’re in an abusive situation.
If you are, I know that you have the strength within you to leave. And it is my hope that this story helps at least one person do just that.Read More