Spotlight on Alle-Kiski HOPE Center, Inc.
Executive Director Michelle L. Gibb talks about HOPE’s swift response for victims of domestic violence who can be less safe in their homes during the lockdown and how a concerned neighbor was able to get help.
“In the midst of a global pandemic and sweeping stay-at-home orders, HOPE realized very quickly that staying at home offers no refuge for victims of domestic violence who are less safe in their own homes than almost anywhere else. Among the myriad tasks to “re-envision” HOPE’s service-delivery system, we recognized access to HOPE for victims emerged as a clear priority. How can victims contact us? How can we provide information to them? How can we assist victims with safety plans? HOPE emphasized messages for families, friends, neighbors, and bystanders. ‘If you have concerns for someone that you think may be a victim and in need of support, call us.’ HOPE – like all domestic violence programs in Pennsylvania – offers support to significant others who want to assist victims.
The messages proved useful when HOPE received a call from Annie, a concerned neighbor. Annie called HOPE’s crisis line to say that she hears Jeff screaming at Jane, her neighbor. She indicated that there has always been fighting, “but it seems to have increased over the past month.” After speaking with the hotline advocate, Annie asked her husband to go to the front yard and distract Jeff with questions about the roof. Annie called Jane and asked how she was doing and if she needed anything. Jane gave her the number and asked her to call her mom to let her know that she was okay. Jane and Ann made arrangements to try and repeat this daily during the stay-at-home order. Annie called the crisis line to check in and said, ‘At least, she knows she’s not alone.'”
HOPE’s message, Apart, not alone. HOPE advocates are available 24/7 to assist victims and support families through this crisis. HOPE’s Crisis Line 724-224-1266.
The Alle-Kiski Area HOPE Center, Inc. is an organization of social change whose mission is the safe elimination of domestic violence through intervention, prevention, and collaboration.