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News > Press Releases > Press Release

Press Release

Release Date: May 12, 2020

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

The Chickasaw Nation Department of Family Services continues to offer a place for domestic violence survivors to turn for assistance during the ongoing pandemic.

“Although our day-to-day operations have been modified during this time of pandemic, we are still available to assist those in need,” Chickasaw Nation Violence Prevention and Residential Recovery Director Karen Jones said.

Chickasaw Nation Violence Prevention Services offers a toll-free crisis hotline at (855) 405-7645. This line will be answered 24/7 by staff working in the Chickasaw Nation women and children’s emergency shelter to assist survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

An advocate is also on call to assist with resources, referrals, admission to emergency shelter, safety planning, emergency transportation, etc.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has created an environment where domestic abuse survivors might have even more weighing on them.

Social distancing requirements and recommendations at the state and federal levels mean people are spending more time secluded behind closed doors, where domestic abuse occurs. Meanwhile, the pandemic is taking an emotional, psychological and financial toll on many.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include: fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones; changes in sleep or eating patterns; difficulty sleeping or concentrating; worsening of chronic health problems; worsening of mental health conditions; and increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.

As for financial factors, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of unemployed persons rose to 23.1 million and the unemployment rate increased to 14.7 percent in April. The sharp increases reflect the effects of the coronavirus and efforts to contain it.

Within the 13 counties of the Chickasaw Nation, Violence Prevention Services serves Chickasaws, other American Indians and all members of the community as a public service. Outside of this service area, assistance is still available to Chickasaw citizens.

“If you or someone you know is living in a domestic violence situation and needs help, please call. There are advocates available to listen and connect you to resources. Your safety is important to us,” Jones said.

Other domestic violence hotlines include:

Oklahoma Domestic Violence Hotline - (800) 522-SAFE (7233)

National Sexual Assault Hotline - (800) 656-HOPE (4673)

StrongHearts Native Helpline - (844) 7NATIVE

National Domestic Violence Hotline - (800) 799-SAFE