Dear Friend of 180,
This is an emergency appeal. We know that you are not used to receiving such urgent emails like this from us, and we usually don’t make requests for your support in this manner. However, the COVID-19 crisis has brought new challenges to our mission and you can help us make a difference.
With stay-at-home orders in place across New Jersey, many victims of domestic and sexual violence are left extremely vulnerable while quarantined with an abuser. The threat of physical and emotional violence will perhaps dominate their lives now more than ever before.
For those who are able to reach us, we are learning that abusers are using the pandemic as an excuse to further exert control. We are reminded that during times of crisis, an already abusive relationship can become dangerously volatile. 180 has remained open throughout this challenging time and we have adjusted all of our services so that survivors can have access to the support they need.
Maria arrived at the Safe House in the midst of the pandemic and we learned that she was a few months pregnant and working overnight shifts at a local grocery store. She left her abusive partner after he began getting more controlling and violent during the stress of the lock down. She worried for herself and her unborn baby. She is now sheltered safely with 180.
Alicia made the decision to escape her abusive partner and live with her elderly parents but she suddenly became sick and tested positive for the coronavirus. She couldn’t risk infecting her parents so she had to stay in quarantine with her abuser for an additional three weeks. As she struggled to heal from COVID-19, her partner’s abuse was relentless the entire time. Thankfully she found 180 and she is safe from her abuser and is receiving our counseling services while on her path to healing.
Karen became imprisoned by her abuser during the early weeks of the quarantine. So many times she considered running out the front door for help, but when she looked out her window, the streets were empty and there was no one outside to ask for help. She eventually found a way to call our hotline. Now, she and her three children, and their pet dog, are with 180 at our Safe House.
Financial resources are needed to help survivors like Maria, Alicia and Karen and we ask for your support to help keep our mission mobilized. Your donation now, will immediately go to work to empower survivors, and will also help us prepare for the spike in hotline calls that we are just beginning to see as stay at home orders are being lifted.
While our largest fundraising event of the year had to be cancelled, our existing expenses are mounting and we have increasing costs due to COVID-19. Donations are especially needed to support emergent needs such as: cleaning and disinfecting activities at our Safe House and across all programs; providing personal protective equipment for shelter staff and all residents; expanding emergency housing, increasing our supplies for food; and ensuring capacity for childcare and related supports due to virtual schooling taking place at our Safe House. Also, we are creating a new service delivery model for advocacy and clinical programs that are private, safe and secure for survivors to access remotely. We need your help to keep our programs mobilized; please consider a gift to support our work.
Domestic violence and sexual assault do not just stop because of a crisis like the one we are currently facing. As we know, when family stressors increase, violence and abuse can quickly escalate. It is in these very trying times that survivors need 180 even more; and we are determined to be there for everyone who needs our services. We appreciate your support of our life saving and life changing mission.
Thank you for your consideration,
Anna Diaz-White
Executive Director
Bob Fouratt
Board President
180 Board of Trustees
Ana Blank
Martha Delehanty
Paul Dement
Kristi Evans
Jim Ferrare
Bob Fouratt
Lauren Goldfarb
Scott Havard
Mike Lilley
Debbie Maser
Diane McNulty
Amanda Mullan
Brian Nelson
Kelli O’Brien
Victoria Perry
Gary Pieringer
Deborah Reinhard
Siran Sahakian
Carol Stillwell
Christina Zuk