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As we learn more about COVID-19, we're also learning how it impacts our work to support survivors and create safer communities.

Avalon Healing Center is on a mission to provide free, professional services to survivors of sexual assault 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even under pre-pandemic conditions, this is a mighty task. We sat down with Kimberly Hurst, founder and CEO of Avalon Healing to understand how the pandemic created new barriers to sexual violence service providers and how organizations have developed new solutions. 

NSVRC: What kind of work does Avalon Healing do?

Based in France, Paye ta Truelle is on a mission to stop sexual harassment in archaeology, which has been rampant since its inception as a field of study.

Jordyn’s Story

In September 2019, the San Diego county child abuse hotline received a call about Jordyn*, a six-year-old girl who was being sexually abused by her father. An investigation confirmed the heartbreaking allegations, and Jordyn was taken from the only home she’d ever known to an emergency children’s shelter. Just imagine how terrifying and confusing this experience would be to a kindergartener. What is this strange place? Why can my brothers stay home with Mom, but not me? Will I be here forever?

I wrote this blog 18 months after the SARS-CoV2 virus landed with an American passenger in Washington state. In March 2020, the virus was declared a pandemic, and the world went into quarantine. For some people, this was a welcome respite from their daily commute and a chance to spend more time with family.

The last year and half has shown me just how many skills I’ve developed since experiencing trauma. For many of my friends and family, I’m the person to go to when sh*t hits the fan. “Hey you used to be a mess, maybe you can help?” Needless to say, I’ve gotten a lot of phone calls since April 2020.

Human trafficking, at its most basic level, is the exploitation of a person’s vulnerability to gain something of value. When we look at marginalized communities, vulnerabilities increase exponentially.

Xenophobia and anti-Asian sentiment are not new; however, they have been on the rise since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

2021 saw an explosion of #MeToo conversations in the brewing and hospitality industry. The Instagram testimonials of one user, Ratmagnet, fueled many survivors to come forward and tell their stories.

Lockdown, as a result of the global pandemic, has not changed much for me, except to make me reflect on my own behaviours. Non-disabled people protesting about lockdown restrictions, do not know how privileged they are. After lockdown they can go back to normal, but this is my normal. For a long time I have restricted when and where I go in order to reduce the amount of unwanted attention I receive. As a person with dwarfism, every outing will include the risk of being stared at, pointed at, laughed at, called names, or even photographed.