During lockdown, even while worrying about our loved ones, it’s easy to get caught in a bubble. To worry about the day-to-day stresses and maybe keep our feelings inside to avoid worrying those around us even more. But we know connectivity is more important than ever before; not to just connect, but to really see how our friends and family are finding this new ‘normal.’ Checking in now takes on another meaning as we seek to care for our loved ones, even if we’re apart.
Angelina Jolie has urged us to keep checking in with each other while in lockdown. During a video conference Time, Jolie spoke of the importance of not only caring for others but keeping your eyes and ears open when doing so. “I think it is so important that people hear that,” she said. “To love each other, check-in with each other. Be there, be a support group, keep your eyes open whether you are a teacher or a friend.”
Related: Calls for domestic abuse victims not to be ‘abandoned and ignored’ during Covid-19 outbreak
Signs could be there in the strain, clipped tones of voices or they might be hidden away. Looking beneath the obvious, or if you sense something could be wrong, is she says, something we should all be doing.
“I really do hope people hear this, and they do reach out, and they do pay more attention, and they are not sitting in a moment when they think, ‘Well maybe, but it’s not my business,’” she continued. The Oscar-winning actor went on to stress that because children aren’t attending school at the moment, “teachers can’t see the bruises and people aren’t identifying what is happening within some homes.”
Charities such as Women’s Aid and Aoibhneas have called to attention the risk that self-isolation can put to women and children suffering from domestic abuse and violence, which is what Jolie is referring to.
Women’s Aid, in particular, have called attention to the issue, saying that their 24-hour helpline has already heard from women “at a heightened state of alert, trauma and anxiety because of the emergency,” and a new awareness campaign has been launched to reach out to victims of domestic abuse during the #COVID19 crisis, reminding everyone that services are #StillHere no matter what, or how long the pandemic may continue for.
Take a look at our new TV ad for our #DomesticViolence campaign in the report below. The ad will launch tomorrow and run for 3 weeks. Our radio ad launched today. Remember, services are #StillHere. For info visit https://www.stillhere.ie/ or, if you are in danger, call 999/112 https://twitter.com/virginmedianews/status/1250400983382765568
— Department of Justice & Equality (@DeptJusticeIRL) April 15, 2020
Jolie, who is a special envoy of the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, said that now, being kind and offering our support to each other is what matters, adding that it is vitally important to believe victims of domestic violence:
“All you have to do is be there for a person. All you have to do is believe them when a victim comes forward”
Jolie is among many public figures who are donating to charitable causes doing Covid-19; she donated $1 million to No Kid Hungry, a charity which helps ensure American children who relied on eating a school meal are still receiving one while schools remain closed.
Women’s Aid phone helpline is operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1800 341 900. If you feel you are in immediate danger, call the emergency services on 112.