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COVID-19 OPERATIONS UPDATES

UPDATES FROM THE CEO

OUR MISSION AND VISION REMAIN!

 

My Sister's House remains committed to providing comprehensive support, services, and education within and beyond the walls of our shelter. As we continue to adjust to this new normal, we are finding creative ways to address the unique needs and challenges of our clients and community during this time. MSH will continue to follow the guidance of the SC Department of Health and Environmental Controls (DHEC) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and follow the directives of state and local authorities to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

 

Below, you will find a comprehensive list of our service and program updates. Please note that this list is continuously updated–check back here for the most up-to-date information.

24/7 CRISIS LINE

Our crisis line service remains fully operational. Our advocates are standing by 24/7 to assist victims of domestic violence. Call us at 843-744-3242

SHELTER PROGRAM

MSH continues to provide emergency crisis shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children. In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 MSH may ​use alternative housing solutions, such as hotels, to meet the needs of clients. MSH will continue to provide case management, advocacy, therapy, and essential needs (food, clothes, toiletries, etc.) to all shelter clients, regardless of location. Call 843-744-3242 for intake. 

THERAPY

Our dedicated therapists are working hard to meet the need in our community by providing therapy via phone and video. If you are a victim or survivor in need of therapy, please call us at 843-744-3242. 

COURT ADVOCACY

MSH's staff court advocate remains available to help victims of domestic violence with filing for an Order of Protection or through the family/criminal court process in Charleston, Dorchester, and Berkeley counties. Our court advocates will be adhering to the COVID specific procedures for each county. To discuss our Court Advocacy services, please contact Nicole today at 843-225-6136. ​

DONATION CENTER

We are currently only accepting NEW, urgently needed items in the donation center. For the full list of needed items and drop-off hours visit mysistershouse.org/donationcenter. If you are looking to host a drive, please review the urgent needs list and contact us at 843-576-0061.  We appreciate your support! 

USED DONATIONS

Our contact-free drop-offs for used clothing, shoes, linens, and accessories are still available 24/7. To find a location near you visit mysistershouse.org/usedclothing

EDUCATION + TRAINING

The MSH Education and Training team remains committed to the work of building awareness and increasing education about the issue of domestic violence in our community. We are currently offering training to businesses, organizations, clubs, etc. via Zoom and in-person (when CDC & DHEC guidelines permit). If you are interested in having MSH present to your group, contact our Director of Education/Training at 843-225-6397.

VOLUNTEERS

We are currently utilizing already trained volunteers at a very limited capacity. If you are interested in applying to become a volunteer when we reopen the program, please visit our volunteer page for updates. 

COVID-19 IMPACT
Woman Texting
Covid Resources
  • For Survivors: Increased Risk of DV
    For victims of domestic violence, shelter in place and quarantine orders are terrifying. Home, for them, is often not a safe place to be. Abusers will use any tactic possible to yield power and control over their victims, even a pandemic. Isolation: Abusers can use this time to further isolate survivors from their loved ones. They may also use this as a time to further restrict a survivor’s movement in person, controlling where they go and when. They might also control a survivor’s interactions online, limiting their access to the outside world. Restricting Access to Information: Abusers may also restrict access to the news and other outlets, making themselves the source of all information. Increased Abuse: The abuse may worsen during this time as survivors may be spending more time in contact with their abusers. Survivors may also experience new or different types of abuse during this time. In-Person and Digital Stalking: Abusers might try to exert their power by trying to monitor, control and stalk survivors in person and digitally. Financial Abuse: Many individuals are experiencing financial burdens due to being unable to work, and abusers may further financially exploit survivors during this time. Parenting: Survivors who co-parent their children with their abusers may be facing unique challenges during these times, such as barriers to visitation and/or increased exposure to the abuser due to lack of accessible childcare. For example, in order for a survivor to work, he/she/they may need to utilize their abuser for childcare. Access to Services: Additional family stress, increased isolation and economic uncertainties add an accelerant to an already dangerous situation and make physically or emotionally abusive relationships much worse. Other community resources, such as faith based organizations, schools, courts and other non-profit organizations are scaling back services. Such networks of support would previously provide additional layers of help and accountability for families at risk for domestic violence. Victims of domestic violence have less resources for help, and feel more trapped.
  • On MSH
    Before the Coronavirus Pandemic, SC ranked #5 in the US for the number of deaths of women by men, up from #6. This number alone shows the critical need for our services in the Lowcountry. The federal grant, VOCA (Victims of Crime Act) has been reduced by 18% in 2020, cutting into critical services of shelter, counseling and advocacy for victims of domestic violence. The need for emergency domestic violence services will likely spike during and following COVID-19. Additional family stress, increased isolation and economic uncertainties are all contributing factors in the multi-faceted problem that is domestic violence. Other community resources, such as faith based organizations, schools, courts and other non-profit organizations help combat these issues with their services. In a time, when all businesses and non-profits are scaling back services, these resources may be limited or unavailbile increasing the need for MSH. When we cannot provide adequate social distancing and quarantine capacity and staffing in community living shelters, we have to provide resources for immediate health and safety for victims of domestic violence and their children via emergency hotel stays and provisions for food, transportation and other basic needs. Fundraisers held during this time are postponed indefinitely and/or cancelled. Overall giving, because of economic instability may be stalled or decreased. My Sister's House depends on these fundraisers and individual giving to not only fund regular budget operations, but also to shore up additional funding for 2021 decreased grant funding. Domestic violence agencies are first responders to very lethal situations. Many victims will call for safety from domestic violence organizations before or instead of law enforcement assistance or even emergency health care.
RESOURCES

All of the following resources are accessible, despite COVID-19.

Hotline Consultant
  • For Survivors: Increased Risk of DV
    For victims of domestic violence, shelter in place and quarantine orders are terrifying. Home, for them, is often not a safe place to be. Abusers will use any tactic possible to yield power and control over their victims, even a pandemic. Isolation: Abusers can use this time to further isolate survivors from their loved ones. They may also use this as a time to further restrict a survivor’s movement in person, controlling where they go and when. They might also control a survivor’s interactions online, limiting their access to the outside world. Restricting Access to Information: Abusers may also restrict access to the news and other outlets, making themselves the source of all information. Increased Abuse: The abuse may worsen during this time as survivors may be spending more time in contact with their abusers. Survivors may also experience new or different types of abuse during this time. In-Person and Digital Stalking: Abusers might try to exert their power by trying to monitor, control and stalk survivors in person and digitally. Financial Abuse: Many individuals are experiencing financial burdens due to being unable to work, and abusers may further financially exploit survivors during this time. Parenting: Survivors who co-parent their children with their abusers may be facing unique challenges during these times, such as barriers to visitation and/or increased exposure to the abuser due to lack of accessible childcare. For example, in order for a survivor to work, he/she/they may need to utilize their abuser for childcare. Access to Services: Additional family stress, increased isolation and economic uncertainties add an accelerant to an already dangerous situation and make physically or emotionally abusive relationships much worse. Other community resources, such as faith based organizations, schools, courts and other non-profit organizations are scaling back services. Such networks of support would previously provide additional layers of help and accountability for families at risk for domestic violence. Victims of domestic violence have less resources for help, and feel more trapped.
  • On MSH
    Before the Coronavirus Pandemic, SC ranked #5 in the US for the number of deaths of women by men, up from #6. This number alone shows the critical need for our services in the Lowcountry. The federal grant, VOCA (Victims of Crime Act) has been reduced by 18% in 2020, cutting into critical services of shelter, counseling and advocacy for victims of domestic violence. The need for emergency domestic violence services will likely spike during and following COVID-19. Additional family stress, increased isolation and economic uncertainties are all contributing factors in the multi-faceted problem that is domestic violence. Other community resources, such as faith based organizations, schools, courts and other non-profit organizations help combat these issues with their services. In a time, when all businesses and non-profits are scaling back services, these resources may be limited or unavailbile increasing the need for MSH. When we cannot provide adequate social distancing and quarantine capacity and staffing in community living shelters, we have to provide resources for immediate health and safety for victims of domestic violence and their children via emergency hotel stays and provisions for food, transportation and other basic needs. Fundraisers held during this time are postponed indefinitely and/or cancelled. Overall giving, because of economic instability may be stalled or decreased. My Sister's House depends on these fundraisers and individual giving to not only fund regular budget operations, but also to shore up additional funding for 2021 decreased grant funding. Domestic violence agencies are first responders to very lethal situations. Many victims will call for safety from domestic violence organizations before or instead of law enforcement assistance or even emergency health care.
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