Uncertainty may be breaking point for abusers
During this time of uncertainty, many feel the effects of isolation in a way most cannot imagine. For some, it’s an ongoing situation of abuse. Sexual and domestic abuse is all about control. The stress of uncertainty can create a situation for increased violence because abusers feel out of control when it comes to their jobs, finances, health and what is to come. They regain control through violence. Women and children are most vulnerable.
Additionally, there are the survivors of sexual assault and abuse. Survivors were hurt at some point in the past. When someone is assaulted, they are not in control of what happens to them. The loss of control results in psychological trauma similar to PTSD. That’s why the uncertainty of this pandemic can affect a survivor more acutely than others.
It is vital to let those in need know that help is still available, no matter what. The 11 sexual assault crisis centers throughout our state continue to provide services to survivors. Everyone at the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault (LaFASA) and all advocates at the crisis centers understand what a difficult time this is. For those feeling overwhelmed and already coping with trauma and stress, know someone is available to talk to you. For those who are currently in abusive situations, the same goes, know you can get help even during this crisis.
No one is sure when life will resume normalcy, but until then, and especially for emergency situations, help is available. LaFASA’s statewide hotline 1-888-995-7273 continues to operate for free, confidential assistance, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as well as the National Hotline at 800-656-4673. Other resources, such as a calming and de-stressing activity book and techniques to calm and de-stress, are available at the LaFASA website www.lafasa.org.
The following is a list of the coalition crisis centers serving Louisiana.
Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response Center (STAR) Alexandria
1412 Peterman Drive, Ste A
Alexandria, LA 71301
Crisis Line: 855-435-7827
Parishes served: Avoyelles, Grant, Rapides, Vernon
Hearts of Hope
P.O. Box 53967
Lafayette, LA 70505-3967
Crisis Line: 337-233-7273
Parishes served: Lafayette, Iberia, Acadia, St. Martin, Vermilion, St. Mary
Oasis Sexual Violence Program
P.O. Box 276
Lake Charles, LA 70602
Crisis Line: (866) 570-7273
Parishes Served: Calcasieu, Jefferson Davis, Beauregard, Allen, Cameron
St. Landry - Evangeline Sexual Assault Center
539 E. Prudhomme Street
Opelousas, LA 70570
Crisis Line: 800-656-4673
Parishes served: St. Landry, Evangeline