Abuse victims can text for help

Cordova Family Resource Center has long advertised its 24-hour helpline. Now, those seeking relief from domestic violence can also reach out by text.

“With COVID coming into play, we realize that a lot of individuals are going to be stuck at home, and they might not be able to make a phone call because their partner could be in the other room, listening,” said Nicole Songer, executive director of CFRC.

CFRC’s text helpline can be reached at 1-860-407-8001 between 7 a.m.-11 p.m, seven days per week. The center’s regular 24-hour helpline can be called at 907-424-4357.

Though CFRC’s usual Domestic Violence Awareness Month open house has been suspended due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, baskets containing free items and information on domestic violence are available near the checkout counters of AC Value Center and Nichols’ Back Door Store. During the first week of October, baskets contained candles that can be displayed as a signal of domestic violence awareness. The items in the baskets will be switched out for each week of the month, Songer said. The center’s offices remain open by appointment.

“We’re here, and we’re open, even though COVID is going on,” Songer said.

In part, CFRC hopes to dispel common misconceptions about domestic violence, such as that it only affects lower-income families, or that it only affects women, Songer said. Domestic Violence Awareness Month activities also aim to encourage community members to support victims of abuse rather than standing by passively, she said.

“We don’t want to focus on the negative: ‘Don’t hit, don’t do this,’” Songer said. “We want to focus on, what can we do … If there’s someone you know, what can you do to help them?”

CFRC also plans to conduct an online survey to help gain a more detailed picture of how Cordova views and understands domestic violence.