While the Gender Violence Services Coordinators (GVSCs) are back on campus, we recognize that individuals may still wish to meet virtually. The GVSCs are happy to meet with individuals via phone, video call, or in-person.
Below are some frequently asked questions about GVSC remote and virtual services. Click each question to view the answer.
For phone calls, we will ask for a number that is safe to reach the individual at our scheduled meeting time and will let you know what number the call will be coming from.
For video calls, we are using Zoom which is available for free to members in the UNC-Chapel Hill community. The GVSCs are implementing several measures to provide the most security we can and encourage individuals to login to Zoom through the UNC Single Sign-On website.
We will work to address any in-person accompaniment needs on a case-by-case basis.
If individuals do not feel safe in their current location, we encourage them to connect with a confidential resource to safety plan and think through ways to maximize their safety in areas of their life that might be impacted right now. Check out the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s Safety Planning Guide.
The following resources can help with safety planning:
We really appreciate the following ideas shared by The Survivors Trust UK:
For some victims/survivors, wearing a mask can trigger memories of abuse, such as the feeling of having a hand covering their mouth or their face pushed into a pillow. Masks can also make individuals feel claustrophobic which can trigger fears of having a panic attack or losing control of your breathing.
- Practice wearing a mask in a comfortable space: If wearing a mask in public has been particularly triggering for you, try practicing wearing one in a space or environment where you already know you feel safe. Take time to get used to how the mask feels on your face. This will make you feel more prepared and relaxed for when you might have to wear the mask in less familiar or more stressful situations.
- Find the right mask: Some masks fit better than others depending on the size and shape of your face. If you can find a mask that is comfortable and doesn’t irritate you, this may help you stay relaxed in public.
- Get creative: If you feel uncomfortable wearing a mask, you could consider wearing a scarf or handkerchief over your nose and mouth instead. Although the feeling is similar, it may be less restrictive and more familiar if it is an item you’ve owned for a long time. You could even make your own mask with a fabric that makes you happy and feels comfortable on your skin.
- Make it smell good: If there is a particular smell that you find relaxing, such as lavender, invest in a pillow spray that you can lightly spray a fabric mask with 20 minutes before you need to wear it. That way, the smell won’t be overpowering but just enough to relax your senses and help keep you grounded.
- Ask for support: If you have trusted friends and loved ones who know what you have experienced, ask for their support. This might look like going for walks while wearing the mask, going with you to shop for a mask, or helping you find the right mask for you.
- Keep grounding techniques in mind: If you feel triggered when you are out in public, whether this is due to masks or being overwhelmed by busy places, try exploring grounding techniques. These can be small practices such as breathing mindfully or using positive coping statements that help you connect with the present and calm you.
Here are a few resources that might be helpful in figuring out what self-care may look like for you: