COVID-19 and Interpersonal Violence
We are here for you.
During this unprecedented time of uncertainty, sudden changes, social distancing, and stress, UND is especially concerned for our students and employees who are experiencing or have experienced sexual assault, domestic violence or dating violence. UND has staff who, while working remotely are ready and available to help you or a loved one who may be experiencing interpersonal violence.
A list of campus, regional, and national resources is below.
Unhealthy Relationships/Domestic Violence
Abuse is about power and control. When survivors are forced to stay in the home or in close proximity to their abuser, an abuser can use any tool to exert control over their victim, including a national health concern such as COVID-19. While employees are working remotely and practicing social distancing, an abuser may take advantage of an already stressful situation to gain more control.
Avoiding public spaces and working remotely can help to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but for many survivors, staying home may not be the safest option. We know that any external factors that add stress and financial strain can negatively impact survivors and create circumstances where their safety is further compromised.
We also recognize that abusive relationships aren’t always spousal or intimate partner relationships. Students who grew up in violent or abusive homes may now find themselves back in those homes.
How COVID-19 Could Uniquely Impact Intimate Partner Violence Survivors
- Domestic violence survivors may be cut off from family, friends, and formal avenues of support.
- Survivors may find it very difficult to reach out for help when needed because their abuser is able to monitor their contacts and communication more closely.
- 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, or to prevent them from seeking appropriate medical attention if they have symptoms.
- 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.
Managing Stress and Practicing Self-Care
We know that this is a difficult time and that uncertainty around COVID-19 may feel overwhelming for survivors already coping with trauma and stress. It’s so important to take care of yourself. Understand that it’s okay to walk away from any situation or conversation that feels triggering. We encourage you to be mindful of your health and others and to embrace healthy habits. Remember that your well-being comes first. If you need help, please reach out.
If you or a loved one are experiencing violence, please seek help from one of the resources below.
Campus and Local Resources
- CVIC at UND
- CVIC (main office)
- Crisis line, 701.746.8900
- University Counseling Center
- Confidential counseling and therapy for students
- UND UCC
- Employee Assistance Program
- Confidential counseling and referrals for employees
- Village EAP
- Equal Opportunity & Title IX
- Office of Students Rights & Responsibilities
- Local Law Enforcement CALL 911FOR EMERGENCIES
- University Police Department
- Grand Forks Police Department
- 701.787.8000 for non-emergencies
- East Grand Forks Police Department
- 218.773.1104 for non-emergencies
- Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Office
- 701.780.8280 for non-emergencies
- Polk County Sheriff’s Office
- 701.281.0431 for non-emergencies
- CVIC (Community Violence Intervention Center) (Grand Forks)
- National Domestic Violence Hotline website
- RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)
- CAWS North Dakota (to find local help in ND)
- Find your local Domestic Violence Center
- LGBTQ+ Abuse
- National LGBTQ+ Institute on Interpersonal Violence Prevention
- For Trans+ Survivors and loved ones
All hotlines are 24/7, free and confidential to speak with a counselor/advocate.
- CVIC: 701.746.8900
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1.800.799.7233