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This article was originally published on March 16, 2020.

Dear Tahirih Supporters:

As our world adjusts to a new reality in its efforts to contain the coronavirus, I want to share with you the Tahirih Justice Center’s response.

Beginning today on Monday, March 16, 2020, the entire organization will telework to keep our clients and our staff healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to be open for business and will serve our clients as we practice the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidance on social distancing. Phones will be rerouted to keep our lines open and in-person meetings will only happen if critically needed to advance a client’s case.

The courageous women we serve are particularly vulnerable during this time and we will continue to be there to serve them. Many of our clients lack healthcare, work hourly jobs, have no paid sick leave, and lack childcare options without public schools being open. Having to remain home, being isolated, and not being able to easily turn to external resources in public spaces, also puts them at risk for increased abuse. Our work is critical during these difficult times. (Should you wish to contribute to the Client Fund, which provides financial help for our clients so that they can address emergency needs including medical care, childcare or emergency shelter, please do so here.)

As a supporter, you know that Tahirih is founded on the belief in the oneness of humankind, and this moment provides a unique opportunity for us to recognize our interdependence.  Regardless of our backgrounds or what sides of which borders we were born, we are one human family and the pain experienced by one is a pain that will be experienced by all. The COVID-19 pandemic is helping us see this reality in ways that we have not appreciated before, in a way that only a virus, which knows no artificial boundaries, can do. Our prayer is that we will come out of this experience with a greater appreciation for our interconnectedness and the need to help others who are suffering, both for their sake and for ours.