Department of Family Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

TTY 711

12011 Government Center Parkway, Pennino Building
Fairfax, VA 22035

Michael A. Becketts,

Preventing Domestic Abuse During COVID-19

(Posted 2020 June)

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives, and for many of us, increased stress at home. Some families are finding it difficult to cope and domestic violence has increased. Even when we feel frustrated, upset, angry, like we are about to explode and want to control someone else with words or physical violence, we can make a better choice. Hurting someone is not the answer.

When we hurt someone, it’s because we are hurting inside. Instead, stop and think about other ways to handle your hurt. These simple steps may help:

  1. couple sitting outside on park benchAppreciate your ability to do the right thing.
    1. Pay attention to your behavior instead of someone else’s.
    2. Tell yourself you are capable of not hurting others.
    3. If there are children at home, remember your actions impact them, even if they hear, but don’t see, what you are doing. 
    4. Choose to act in a way that will make you and others proud.
  2. Improve your outcome.
    1. When angry, we make poor decisions and forget to breathe deeply. Catch your breath to calm down.
    2. Take some time alone to cool off.
    3. Distract yourself with things like listening to music, going for a long walk or run, being in nature, praying, meditating, drawing, cooking, journaling or practicing mindfulness.
    4. Try out free apps like MyStrength, which can help you improve your mood and learn about choices. (Click Sign Up and enter access code CSBCommunity.)
  3. Connect with others.
    1. Call a family or friend for support.
    2. Connect with others by talking on the phone or using a computer.
    3. Call the Domestic and Sexual Violence 24-Hour Hotline at 703-360-7273. The Hotline serves victims as well as those who want to avoid committing violence, so just make the call.
  4. Protect yourself and others.
    1. People who are hurt, hurt other people. 
    2. Make the choice that keeps everyone safe.

Learn more about the Department of Family Services' Domestic and Sexual Violence Services.

This posting is part of the Department of Family Services' Community Corner where you’ll find timely information about upcoming events, parenting and wellness tips, programs and services, and more! Share these helpful posts with your friends and family. Don't miss out on future postings; sign-up today!

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