Rapidly accumulating data is showing a disturbing trend during COVID-19 quarantine life—an uptick in domestic violence incidents. With families sheltering in place, it’s become increasingly difficult for domestic violence victims to escape from their situations and seek help.
According to a report in the The New York Times, victims are more prone to physical violence as well as other kinds of abusive behavior such as isolating the victim from friends, family, and employment, “constant surveillance; strict, detailed rules for behavior; and restrictions on access to basic necessities.”
“Home isolation, however vital to the fight against the pandemic, is giving still more power to the abuser,” said Dr. Marianne Hester, a sociologist who studies abusive relationships.
People fleeing an abusive domestic situation need to remove themselves from the home they’ve been living in and either take up residence elsewhere or go to a shelter. That’s easier said than done—especially during a pandemic. So thank goodness for College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving, a company hoping to be of service to folks leaving abusive situations by providing essential, no-cost moves to victims of domestic violence and abuse.
College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving was originally founded by two college friends in 2003. Now, it has over 100 franchises supplying full-service, tech-enabled residential and commercial moving, junk removal, donation pickups, and labor services in the United States and Canada. HUNKS, which stands for Honest, Uniformed, Nice, Knowledgeable, Service, consider themselves a socially conscious organization and have a national partnership with Feeding Children Everywhere.
Tank’s Good News spoke with Nick Friedman, President and Co-Founder of HUNKS. Friedman explained that their company purpose is to make a positive impact on the lives of the people they help. Friedman and his team were motivated to start the domestic violence initiative when they sat down to discuss how the COVID-19 crisis might be affecting those (unintentionally) negatively affected by stay-at-home orders. Since they already had a program to help disadvantaged youth in vulnerable situations get access to food, they decided to extend their services to domestic violence victims.
“As a Purpose-Driven, Socially-Conscious national moving and junk removal company, we want to help our communities and neighbors during these unique times, while also staying in business as an essential service,” Friedman said.
Here’s how it works. A certified domestic violence shelter needs to approve any victims requesting a free move to ensure that the victim is supported throughout the transition as well as for the safety of the moving team and victim. Anyone in a domestic violence situation should first contact the police or a domestic violence shelter immediately. The shelter will contact HUNKS at [email protected] and the movers will make themselves available and help coordinate.
“With more than three-quarters of the US population told to stay home to stem the pandemic’s spread, victims may assume nowhere is safe for victims of intimate partner violence,” Friedman asserted. “It is crucial that all Americans feel safe during this pandemic, especially those vulnerable to abuse and harm.”