Peer response Length: A minimum of 150 words per post, not including references Citations: At least one high-level scholarly reference in APA per post from within the last 5 years Peer post: The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted women in Washington State and all over the world. The Pan American Health Association Women leaders call for integrating mental health into COVID-19 response, spoke out this month calling for increased investment and support around mental health, especially for women and children where psychological strain and stress place increased pressure (2020). Since the Covid-19 pandemic Washington state has seen increases in domestic abuse, the Seattle Police Department reported a 21% increase in 911 calls for domestic violence over a month (Fowler, 2020). This means we have a vulnerable population needing help in our state due to stay at home orders and increased stress involving the pandemic. I stay at home orders are in place, we need to help find other ways to support women, children, and other victims of domestic and sexual violence as APRNs advocacy is critical for populations such as these within my state of Washington. Every state has communities of vulnerable people, and with the outbreak of Covid-19, women, children, and other victims of abuse have had to pay a heavy price on their health and safety. In Washington, one area where this population needs immediate assistance is in filing and placing protection orders. Throughout this process, there are times where the state requires in-person contact throughout the protection order process, such as court hearings and the act of law enforcement serving the abuser the protection order. Washington state took action to advocate and protect victims of abuse. Gov. Jay Inslee signed proclamation 20-45, which increased access for abused to apply for protection via online resources or have court hearings through technological means rather than in-person court appointment (Take Action For Access to Protection Orders, 2020). This proclamation ended in May, although the need still existed for an extension of the proclamation. The Minority leadership did not pass an extension by voting no (2020). It is hard to understand why such a vital proclamation to protect an already vulnerable group of people would be denied. On June 16, the proclamation got amended and reinstated again by the governor until the state of emergency for Covid-19 ends or July 1, 2020, whichever comes first (proclamation WA State 20-44.3). It seems like this proclamation has just expired again and needs to be extended and reenacted. To advocate for these victims of domestic violence, I plan on emailing my District 39 Legislators Keith Wagoner, Robert Sutherland, and Carolyn Eslick, encouraging them to take action and reconsider extending or reenacting the proclamation 20-45 to protect our victims of abuse. In this letter, I will advocate and list the reasons this proclamation 20-45 needs to yet again reenacted. I will give evidence to support domestic abuse numbers are continuing to rise while advocating for the delivery and accessibility of technological support for use when possible, more public exposure, and increase the visibility of resources in high-risk communities throughout Washington state. All I can think of is if more people had awareness from the start on the proclamation, they would have done the right thing and spoke up for the survivors of Washington state and emailed their legislative and congressional representatives. I will also ask of my fellow nurse colleges to join in solidarity and email their voice of support for reenacting and extending proclamation 20-45 again in support of abused victims. It saddens me to know daily in Washington state women and children, and other victims are experiencing increased violence at home due to the pandemic. The need for assistance and help, to stay safe, and remove themselves from the situations is vivid. Abusers are using new forms of abuse due to the pandemic, such as restricting masks usage and threatening to infect them with the Covid-19 virus and deny them access to medical care (Fowler, 2020). To keep these people safe, we need to advocate for them at all system levels. Using legislation and proclamation changes are higher system changes that help impact the protection of abused survivors. The Washington State Coalition against Domestic Violence has put together an area on their website for those staying home due to Covid-19, listing resources for victims of abuse (2020). It is essential to know available resources and spread this knowledge throughout the communities where we work and live. Sharing resources and educating our leaders encourages support and advocacy for a vulnerable population. Promotes increased awareness and exposure to resources for victims of domestic violence and the opportunity for professionals to step up at a higher level to advocate for change. There are many levels of advocacy which help focus on the healthcare of our communities, when focusing on public policy advocacy one communicates the need and influences policymakers to change laws or policies to improve the health of a defined group in need (Brassard, 2018). Many members of a community, nurses, attorneys, government officials, lobbyists, and law enforcement provide advocacy and make system-level changes together. It is an extensive network of people needed to make changes within the state they live in, and nurses will continue to play an active role. References Brassard, A. (2018). Advocacy and the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. In L.A. Joel Editor (Ed.), Advanced practice nursing: Essentials for role development (pp. 218-226). Philadelphia, PA, PA: F.A. Davis Company. Fowler, L. (2020, May 05). New tools to help WA abuse victims put to the test during coronavirus. Retrieved July 28, 2020, from https://crosscut.com/2020/05/new-tools-help-wa-abuse-victims-put-test-during-coronavirus Response to Coronavirus & Resource Round-Up. (2020, June 16). Retrieved July 28, 2020, from https://wscadv.org/news/response-to-coronovirus-resource-round-up/ Take Action for Access to Protection Orders. (2020, May 12). Retrieved July 28, 2020, from https://wscadv.org/news/take-action-for-access-to-protection-orders/ Washington State Legislature. (2020). Protection Orders and Personal Service, Proclamation 20-45.3. https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/20-45.3%20-%20COVID-19%20Prot%20Orders%20Ext%20%28tmp%29.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery 2020, 1. (2020, July 17). Women leaders call for integrating mental health into COVID-19 response. Retrieved July 28, 2020, from https://www.paho.org/en/news/17-7-2020-women-leaders-call-integrating-mental-health-covid-19-response
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