These next few weeks of online classes and social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will be difficult for all of us. But social distancing can be especially difficult for survivors in our community. For those living in abusive households, abusers could take advantage of this social distancing period to gain further control over their victims, leaving survivors feeling trapped with no way out. Social distancing - staying inside, not seeing friends or family and spending long periods of time in isolation - can also be difficult for survivors with mental health concerns.
We want to remind the community that confidential SHARPP services are still available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via our help line: (603) 862-7233. Our ask-an-advocate online service is also available. Our office will no longer be staffed during regular office hours and all advocacy will be conducted remotely, but our staff will be regularly checking their email and voicemail and will respond in a timely fashion. As a reminder, SHARPP can provide crisis counseling, safety planning, assistance finding alternative living options, academic interventions and more. All interactions with SHARPP staff and advocates are 100% confidential.
Now more than ever, it is important to be there for each other and remember to check in with ourselves. Here are some things to remember:
● Check in with each other: your friends and classmates, and especially those who you know are survivors. Be there for them via a phone call or Skype and ask if there is anything you can do to help. Here’s more information on how to help a friend.
● Practice self-care: take breaks from your phone and the news, try to be active as much as you can from home, eat well and practice mindful activities. Here is a list of self-care activities for survivors from RAINN, and here’s more information on overall wellness from UNH Health and Wellness. Visit this page for mental health self-care.
● Health and Wellness is still open over spring break and while classes are online. Click here for their hours.
As mentioned above, SHARPP’s services are still available 24/7, but many of our events, including our annual anti-violence rally and walk, have been cancelled. We will continue to engage the UNH community throughout April for Sexual Assault Awareness month on social media and on campus (if in-person classes continue as scheduled). Please let us know what you would like to see from us these next few weeks and if you have any questions regarding our services.