One in three women and one in four men are impacted by domestic violence. Domestic violence does not discriminate based on age, race, gender, or socioeconomic status. People often wonder why survivors of domestic violence don’t “just leave” their abusive relationship or hesitate to get help. Sadly, there are several factors which prevent someone from easily leaving their abusive environment. Not only does it take immense courage to leave an abusive relationship, statistically, the most dangerous time for a victim is when they physically try to leave.
A woman is 75% more likely to be killed when she actually leaves an abusive relationship.
- Department of Justice
In March, at the start of Covid-19 stay-at-home mandates, many survivors were trapped at home with their abusers. Increased calls to hotlines demonstrated this shadow pandemic not only locally in DC but globally, as the World Health Organization reported Member States seeing up to a 60% increase in emergency calls from abused women when compared to rates in April 2019. Numbers began to fall in June and July, revealing the true and dangerous impact of domestic violence during Covid-19. Survivors have been afraid to call and seek help because they cannot do so safely without their abuser finding out. If they do need medical attention, they are often waiting until the last minute to seek medical assistance to avoid an escalation of violence. This fear coupled with the stressors of lockdown, has caused many survivors to feel hopeless, mentally drained, and stuck.
In response to the increase and impact of domestic violence during Covid-19, Becky’s Fund developed ENDOVI as a solution and tool to support survivors during this shadow pandemic. The creation of ENDOVI is made possible by a grant from Booz Allen Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to convening diverse stakeholders to solve challenging social issues. Using technology and a mobile phone platform created by Appnector, ENDOVI will be an access point to the resources available to survivors who need help. Without safe access to resources, without guidance on everything from housing to finances, and without an exit plan, leaving the only home you know can be a daunting, terrifying, and even deadly choice. But ENDOVI will help change the future for survivors, allowing them to discreetly and safely begin their exit out and journey to freedom. ENDOVI will connect survivors with mental health support, important resources like shelter, an advocate, and a lawyer and allow the use of technology safely without having to risk elevated abuse often caused when the abuser finds out about calls for help. Upon its launch, ENDOVI will have an immediate impact as more than 24 people are impacted by domestic violence per minute.
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