Updated: Aug 4, 2020
Most of us are safe at home – but for some, home is not a sanctuary, it is a prison. Many adults and children are trapped in homes with abuse, rape, violence and neglect. Due to COVID-19, these situations have escalated. Local law enforcement has shown a 50% increase in 2020 compared to this same time last year (2019). These victims have limited access to resources and contacts outside of their home. They are likely unable to call for help because their abuser is always nearby.
I would like to share some facts that might help to describe the scale of this threat:
34% of people who sexually abuse a child are family members of the child
74% of Kansas children were removed from their primary residence in 2019 due to abuse/neglect
1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year (90% are eyewitnesses)
1 in 3 female & 1 in 20 male murder victims are killed by an intimate partner
1 in 3 women & 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner
20 people every minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the US
At SOS, we are doing our best to continue our services while focusing on the health and safety of everyone involved. We are continuing to staff our 24/7 Helpline (800.825.1295) to connect victims with advocates for safety planning, protection orders and resources. Our domestic shelter is continuing to house clients as needed. SOS CASA of the Flint Hills staff are available, and our CASA volunteers continue their advocacy while practicing physical distancing. The Child Visitation and Exchange Center is offering virtual supervised visits and our CAC is still conducting child disclosure interviews (with a few additional health precautions in place).
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or neglect, please call our 24/7 helpline (800-825-1295) or visit www.soskansas.com for resources and more information.