2 Pandemics,1 Critical Message

Domestic Violence, Parenting, Resources, Safety

Written by Lela Devries


Talking To Your Children About Domestic Violence During COVID-19

While our society continues to fight the ongoing battle against COVID-19, there is still the continuous struggle in taking a stand against another pandemic: Domestic Violence and Abuse. October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month- but this simply cannot be limited to just these 31 days alone. Especially now that we all are finding new ways to adapt to different levels of living, working, and learning for the time being. We need to take the time to explain to our children not just the importance of public safety, but personal, situational safety.

Dedicate time to sit down with your kids and ask them important questions like, “Do you know what the word “consent” means?” or “Have you seen or experienced anything recently that you’re afraid to talk about?”. Kids don’t like to be lectured, so make your conversations open and personable. They’re more likely to understand and respond to your questions and concerns if they feel that you want to discuss rather than preach. Some topics are hard to question, and when it comes down to facts- there’s no sugar-coating things, but children interpret life differently. Be honest, be sincere, and just be there for them. 

One of the growing concerns right now for advocates against Domestic Violence in 2020, is that the repercussions of the pandemic might be preventing people from seeking out help and crucial resources. This is another reason why it’s important to talk with your children early on about these difficult subjects. Teaching children about signs, advocacy, and awareness is not only good for their well-being, but it may also help benefit someone else. Children, especially at a young age, are very prone to pay more attention to the actions of others. Educate them that if they see something that looks wrong then it is up to them to tell a responsible adult about that situation. Their recognition just may save a life, all because they knew what to do and when to do it.

The opportunity here is to recognize that while we may be taking extra precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19, violence and abuse never takes a break. We’re spending more time at home- which can be dangerous on its own- and our children deserve to be taught, and have their voice heard when they feel uncomfortable. Talk and Listen! Be their shining light during the pandemic, because the best weapon we have right now to fight both pandemics is HOPE.

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