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Pharmacies Becoming Safe Space for Domestic-Violence Survivors

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020   

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Some of the measures intended to help stop the spread of COVID-19 are making difficult times even more challenging for victims of domestic violence. Stay-at-home orders and social-distancing recommendations are believed to be linked to an increase in domestic-violence incidents, and also are making it more difficult for survivors to seek help.

Myriam Shaw Ojeda, fellow of policy and innovation at the Ohio Pharmacists Association, said that's why they are partnering with the Ohio Domestic Violence Network to raise awareness on the role pharmacies can play in increasing safety for domestic-violence victims.

"We are probably one of the most accessible health care providers to all of our patients at this time, and therefore it was a very good opportunity to combine forces with ODVN and try and help patients who are suffering at the moment," Shaw Ojeda said.

The Ohio Pharmacists Care about Domestic Violence Initiative is providing pharmacies with educational resources for domestic-violence victims during the pandemic, including flyers that can be dropped in medication bags with information on accessing housing, food, medical care and medications.

Shaw Ojeda said she's hopeful the initiative will open the door for patients to talk to their health care providers about safety. She said pharmacists know their patients and want them to have better outcomes.

"When someone is struggling with an unsafe environment at home, it does affect their health, it does affect other parts of their life," she said. "And so, as pharmacists we want to make sure that our patients have an overall healthy outlook, not just in relation to their medication."

Shaw Ojeda noted that about 100 Ohio pharmacies already have signed onto the effort, and they are conducting a massive outreach to get even more on board.



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