Responding to COVID-19 | IPV and Child Abuse

The COVID-19 pandemic may stimulate violence, including intimate partner violence (IPV) and child abuse, in families where it didn’t exist before and worsen situations in homes where mistreatment and violence has been a problem. Mental health providers are in a position to help through screening, referral, and safety planning. While this is always the case, it is especially important now when risk for violence has increased.

The MHTTC resources listed below can assist behavioral health providers in understanding and responding to family violence. In addition, we highlight resources from key national partners that focus specifically on this work. Some are COVID specific, and others provide information with which all clinicians should be familiar.

To view all resources related to intimate partner violence and child abuse, please visit our products and resources catalog and enter keywords such as "intimate partner violence" and "child abuse" into the search bar.

Featured Recorded Learning Sessions:

Preventing and Responding to Family Violence During COVID-19 Series | MHTTC Network in partnership with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network

This series use case examples and dialogue between experts from NCTSN to address critical questions that mental health providers are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Working at the Intersection of Intimate Partner Violence and Mental Health Series | MHTTC Network in partnership with the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health

This series introduces key issues at the intersection of intimate partner violence and mental health, and prepares mental health providers to better respond to the needs of individuals and families affected by intimate partner violence.

MHTTC Products and Resources:

COVID-19 and Mental Health Resources: Hotlines, Helplines, and Support Groups | Pacific Southwest MHTTC

The Pacific Southwest MHTTC curated a series of topical resource sheets to help you find high-quality tools and information on caring for yourself, your families, and the communities you serve. This resource sheet focuses on phone numbers for crisis hotlines, warmlines, and informational/referral helplines, including lines for specific populations (e.g., first responders, older adults, caregivers). It also includes links to online support groups.

COVID-19 and the Impact on Intimate Partner Violence Among Latino Communities | National Hispanic and Latino MHTTC

This online session provides information on how to address the impact of COVID-19 prevention efforts, shelter in place practices, and isolation for individuals who experience intimate partner violence (IPV) in Latino/Hispanic communities. The presenter describes sociocultural Latino traditions and the impact of COVID-19 shelter in place practices that may increase IPV incidents. The webinar recognizes the mental health consequences of unemployment, economic hardships, the closing of schools, and general uncertainty that may result in more family conflicts and violence. Dr. Lopez provides information about the identification of cultural resilience and coping strategies to address the impact of the pandemic in Latino families and ways to reduce stress and IPV that can found through different resources online and offline. 

COVID-19 and the Impact of Intimate Partner Violence in Latinx CommunitiesNational Hispanic and Latino MHTTC

Latino communities have been impacted by quarantine and social isolation measures. These measures protect against COVID-19, but in turn, are risk factors for the increase in intimate partner violence (IPV). This factsheet presents cultural factors that differentiate the experiences of Latinas going through IPV compared to women from other cultural groups. Some of the factors include; immigration status, threats of deportation, level of acculturation, and difficulties in seeking the necessary help due to the stigma about receiving mental health services. At the same time, resources are offered such as the Family Preparedness Plan and other web pages dedicated to increasing support for Hispanics and Latinos who go through IPV.

Gender Violence Booklet National Hispanic and Latino MHTTC 

Gender Violence among Latinas: Key Concepts and Cultural Considerations provides mental health clinicians with an understanding of the main factors that influence Latina's vulnerability to experience gender-based violence. It also includes clinical recommendations for mental health providers and organizations.

Increased Risks for IPV in Latinas During the COVID-19 Pandemic National Hispanic and Latino MHTTC 

For Latina survivors of gender-based violence added risks may result from the current lockdown and social distancing measures. This fact and resource list describes the issue, added risks to consider during the COVID-19 pandemic, and where to seek help and support.

PTSD and Trauma in Hispanic and Latino Military Families National Hispanic and Latino MHTTC 

This online session discusses the intersection between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and intimate partner violence (IPV) in Latino military families this presentation illustrates, evidence indicates that the development of post-traumatic psychopathology, and particularly PTSD, is strongly associated with the development of violence and abusive behavior in relationships. In addition to the review of research on the association between PTSD and IPV in Latino military families, we discuss information processing models explaining the link between PTSD and IPV and potential moderators of this association, as well as strategies to prevent and treat IPV in this population while taking into considerations recommendations for future work.

Resources for Supporting the Mental Health and Well-being of Children and Families During COVID-19Northwest MHTTC

This webinar focuses on the mental health and well-being of children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic and the early data that provides insight into the challenges and opportunities for substance misuse prevention practitioners to support families and communities during this time. The webinar highlights many of the resources available from Child Trends, the nation’s leading research organization focused exclusively on improving the lives of children and youth, especially those who are most vulnerable. 

Resources for Wellness, Recovery, and Connection During COVID-19 | New England MHTTC

We created six infographics, one for each New England State, that summarizes key mental health resources, under several categories: "Need to connect?", "In a crisis?" and "Specialized Support." 

Safe at Home: Domestic Violence Awareness Series | National American Indian and Alaska Native MHTTC

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, this series helps providers and community members understand domestic violence and ways they can advocate and support those who experience violence in their homes.

Think Trauma and Latinos During the Nation's Pandemic EmergencyNational Hispanic and Latino MHTTC 

This online session focuses on the importance of co-developing the Training of Trainers (TOT) curriculum with the direct participation of community members. One academic institution and two non-profit organizations collaborated to co-develop a TOT about the intersection of domestic violence, trauma, and mental health among Latinx families and children. Participants are taught about the importance of partnering with grassroots organizations to develop psychoeducational curricula and become familiar with the impact of the intersection of domestic violence, trauma, and mental health in Latinx children and families. The presenter provides innovative ways of disseminating a TOT curriculum online.

Featured Resources:

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Americans are required to stay home to protect themselves and their communities. However, the home may not be safe for many families who experience domestic violence, which may include both intimate partners and children. COVID-19 has caused major economic devastation, disconnected many from community resources and support systems, and created widespread uncertainty and panic. Such conditions may stimulate violence in families where it didn’t exist before and worsen situations in homes where mistreatment and violence has been a problem. SAMHSA's Intimate Partner Violence and Child Abuse Considerations During COVID-19 resource provides important considerations and additional resources to help families and communities address intimate partner violence and child abuse health concerns.

Domestic violence and other lifetime trauma can have significant mental health consequences. Although symptoms often improve or abate with increased safety and social support, abuse may sometimes have longer-term health and mental health effects. The traumatic effects of abuse can impact an individual’s ability to access safety, heal from trauma, and pursue life goals. Additionally, living with mental health conditions or addiction increases a person’s risk of experiencing abuse in the future. Exposure to ongoing abuse can also exacerbate symptoms and affect recovery.

The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health provides training, support, and consultation to advocates, mental health and substance abuse providers, legal professionals, and policymakers as they work to improve agency and systems-level responses to survivors and their children. Their work is survivor defined and rooted in principles of social justice.

2020 Webinar Series

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) is a unique network of frontline providers, family members, researchers, and national partners that is committed to changing the course of children’s lives by improving their care and moving scientific gains quickly into practice across the U.S.

The national impact of the NCTSN is well documented. In recent years, estimates from the NCTSN Collaborative Change Project (CoCap) have indicated that each quarter about 30,000 individuals – children, adolescents and their families – directly benefited from services through this Network. Since its inception, the NCTSN has trained more than one million professionals in trauma-informed interventions. Hundreds of thousands more are benefiting from the other community services, website resources, webinars, educational products, community programs, and more. Over 10,000 local and state partnerships have been established by NCTSN members in their work to integrate trauma-informed services into all child-serving systems, including child protective services, health and mental health programs, child welfare, education, residential care, juvenile justice, courts, and programs serving military and veteran families.

Other Resources:

Webinars and Trainings

ATTC: Addiction Recovery and Intimate Violence

Battered Women's Justice Project: Tools for Advocates Responding to COVID-19 and Domestic Violence

National Hispanic and Latino Addiction Technology Transfer Center:  Intersection of Domestic Violence or Intimate Partner Violence and Addiction

National Network to End Domestic Violence: Report on Coronavirus Webinar 2: Policy perspectives on protection of victims of domestic violence

National Network to End Domestic Violence: Using Technology to Support Victims During a Public Health Crisis

National Network to End Domestic Violence: Video and Q&A from the “Coronavirus and women’s shelters: Planning, preparation and response to the COVID-19 pandemic” webinar

Toolkits and Guidelines

CDC: Preventing Intimate Partner Violence Across the Lifespan

National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health: COVID-19 Exercise: Enhancing Compassion in The Face of Comparative Suffering

National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health: COVID-19 Resource Hub

National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health: Pebble Meditation Practice for Children & Their Parents/Caregivers

National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health: Supporting Parents, Caregivers and Their Children During COVID-19: Resources for Advocates Serving Families Affected by Domestic Violence

National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health: Supporting Survivors’ Access to Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Services During the COVID-19 Emergency

National Domestic Violence Hotline: Staying Safe During COVID-19

National Network to End Domestic Violence: Recommendations for Responding to COVID-19 in Domestic Violence Shelters

National Network to End Domestic Violence, Center for Survivor Agency and Justice, The Community Tax Law Project: CARES Act Relief Payment

SAMHSA: Substance Abuse Treatment and Domestic Violence: Quick Guide for Clinicians Based on TIP 25

Fact Sheets and Tip Sheets

American Psychological Association: How COVID-19 may increase domestic violence and child abuse

Break the Cycle: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Closings: How You Can Continue to be Safe and Seek Protection (For residents or those with cases in DC)

CDC: Preventing Intimate Partner Violence

National Center for Child Traumatic Stress: Helping children with traumatic separation or traumatic grief related to COVID-19

National Center for Child Traumatic Stress: Trauma-Informed School Strategies During COVID-19

National Network to End Domestic Violence: Consejos para ayudar a un/a amigo/a que sufre violencia doméstica durante la COVID-19

National Network to End Domestic Violence: Frequently Asked Questions Involving Courts and COVID-19

National Network to End Domestic Violence: Seeking Help Online: National Resources & Considerations for Safety and Privacy During a Public Health Crisis

National Network to End Domestic Violence: Tips for helping a friend experiencing domestic abuse during COVID-19

PublicSource: Helping doesn’t have to hurt: Managing compassion fatigue in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic

SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline is standing by 24/7 to support you during the pandemic & beyond. Toll-free, multilingual, & confidential support services are available to all residents in the U.S. & its territories. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained counselor.

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