Hello CORA Family,
The first month of 2021 is almost over and it feels like only yesterday we said goodbye to 2020. Some of you may be thinking “good riddance to 2020,” and I completely understand that sentiment. It was a challenging year for us all, and it was especially challenging for those experiencing domestic violence.
The COVID-19 pandemic created ideal conditions for abusers to do their worst. The stay-at-home order, while necessary for the wellness of the community, left those experiencing domestic violence isolated in homes with their abuser. With the inability to carry out life’s usual actions – going to the grocery store, going to work, taking the kids to school, etc. – those suffering were denied even the small moments of respite. The opportunities to reach out to friends and families also faded.
But in the midst of this horrific moment, survivors showed amazing bravery and courage. They reached out to CORA while out walking the dog, while the abuser showered, and in the small time it took to walk from the house to mailbox each day. CORA was here offering safety, services and healing throughout the pandemic and saw demand for services increase roughly 35% compared to the year before.
It wasn’t easy, but not being there for clients was not an option. Domestic violence didn’t stop for COVID-19 and neither did we.
CORA remained strong, engaged and committed through last year and its crisis. Programs remained nimble, changing and evolving with the ever-shifting landscape, all the while making sure the hand of hope was outstretched to all those who needed it. The safe houses took in those looking for refuge. Mental health professionals spent hours on the phone, building connection and facilitating healing from afar. CORA’s Legal Department helped clients navigate the legal process amidst the pandemic-driven schedule changes of the courts. A caring crisis counselor answered the emergency hotline 24-hours a day, and programs, as always, remained free of charge.
But I’m talking about the pandemic like it’s over. As if the challenges magically ended at midnight on December 31. At CORA, we understand that the hard truth is that there is still much to be done and the road ahead is far from easy. Until COVID-19 no longer affects our society, the work of helping and lifting up those in the shadow of domestic violence – a constant and intense duty under the best of circumstances – will remain a difficult one. We see the challenges ahead and know need to innovate and keep those experiencing abuse connected with life-changing services remains more important than ever.
However, we remain strong and hopeful moving forward. You, our wonderful community, are the rock on which CORA is built and we are forever humbled and emboldened by your constant support. Thank you for stepping up, speaking up, and donating over the last year. CORA continues to transform lives because of your support.
We draw strength from the clients we serve, who, in the face of massive obstacles and fear, bravely step out and take control of their lives. Their courageousness and resilience is truly inspiring to behold and it drives us forward.
As the old saying goes, “the future lies ahead.” With CORA’s over forty years of experience, a knowledgeable and committed staff overflowing with passion for the cause, an innovative spirit that meets challenges head-on, and a caring, committed community supporting us, CORA is poised to do even more great things in 2021!
We look forward to partnering with you to continue to improve our community in the coming year.
Interim Executive Director
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