Another alarming outcome from the pandemic is an increase in people experiencing trauma in diverse ways. SAMSHA defines trauma as “an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.” The ongoing economic and emotional damage of COVID-19—as well as long stretches of stay-at-home orders—is causing increasing numbers of people to take out their distress by:

  • Committing acts of physical violence on a partner or family member
  • Neglecting the care of children or dependents
  • Emotionally abusing family members or partners through verbal and non-verbal intimidation
  • Forcing sexual intercourse or sexual acts on a partner
  • Harming pets and animals
  • Misusing drugs and alcohol
  • Thinking about self-harm

If you or others in your household are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.

If you believe that you have experienced trauma and would like to access help, please call 2-1-1.

If you are in an abusive environment or engaged in an abusive relationship, you can call Heartly House Inc. on its 24-hour hotline at 301-662-8800 or visit for resources.

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