Intimate Partner Violence During COVID-19 Cope Now, Plan For The Future

Recording of Live Online Discussion

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COVID-19 has globally mandated stay-home orders but for victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) , home is not always a safe option. The unprecedented stress of the pandemic combined with social distancing and strained finances has caused a surge in intimate partner violence cases. The typical, "get out" reactionary response to intimate partner violence is unsuited for the times given that shelters or filing a protective order aren't easy options. Join us for an online discussion on intimate partner violence within a harm reduction lens of “cope now, plan for the future.”

We will cover:

  • What to include in a safety plan
  • How to help a loved one who is in an abusive relationship during COVID-19
  • Other forms of coping while social distancing with abusive partner

Discussion guests include:


Hilda Franco has been a community organizer for 20 years. Her activism began when she was a student leader, advocating for immigration reform, and sexual and gender equality. Her professional life began with her work with foster youth. She has case managed women living in a domestic violence shelter, the homeless, the elderly, people with mental illness and HIV, and low income families. For the last 8 years she has been working doing Domestic Violence (DV) and Sexual Assault (SA) prevention and intevention. During this time, she has developed and managed youth advocate programs to engage young folks in DV and SA Prevention in Boyle Heights. She worked as a counselor/advocate on the Sexual Assault Response team doing crisis intervention at the LAC/USC Medical Center. And has been organizing grassroots efforts to support marginalized communities in developing art based programs to raise awareness around gender based violence.

Hilda received her Associate’s Degree from Fullerton College in Liberal Arts and transferred to UC Santa Cruz where she earned a Bachelors in Latin American/Latino Studies and Literature. She obtained her Master’s at Cal State Long Beach in the Science of Counseling with a concentration on Student Development in Higher Education.

Maritza Plascencia

Maritza Plascencia is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is the owner and founder of Mindful Quest Relationship Counseling in Tustin, CA where her focus is helping individuals and couples dealing with relationship issues rooted in trauma. She has worked with survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault in different capacities since 2007. She completed her undergraduate work at University of California, Irvine, obtaining Bachelor's Degrees in Criminology and English. As a Victim Advocate in Criminal Court for the Domestic Violence Unit in Orange County, she became a certified Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Counselor. Through her advocacy work Maritza was exposed to the many levels in which survivors needed assistance and decided to pursue her Master's Degree in Marital and Family Therapy at Alliant International University, hoping she would continue tohelp survivors deal with the immediate effects of violence, while also joining the prevention movement by educating other professionals and the community about these topics. While completing her Master's program she went on to work at the City of Irvine's FOR Families Program, where she mainly worked with survivors, educating police officers and collaborating with community-based agencies in planning events to create awareness about intimate partner violence. While at Laura's House, a domestic violence agency, she worked with survivors on a clinical level in various settings (outpatient, emergency shelter and transitional housing). For almost five years, Maritza predominantly worked with the Latino community, offering individual and family counseling and facilitating the Personal Empowerment Program as well as other process and psycho educational groups on topics like Anger Management, Assertiveness, Codependency and Healing from Sexual Assault. Maritza has been a trainer for the Human Trafficking Survivor’s Foundation, 40-Hour Domestic Violence Advocacy Training as well as presented a workshop on the topic of “Coping Strategies After Abuse”. She was featured in Latinx Therapy Podcast for the English and Spanish episodes “When La Chancla Crosses the Line” where she talks about how childhood abuse survivors are at higher risk of experiencing intimate partner violence. She was invited to present on the topic “The Invisible Wall: Barriers Undocumented Survivors Face in Abusive Relationships” at Cal State Fullerton’s 18th Annual Violence Prevention Conference and has also been invited as a guest lecturer at Chapman University to presenton the topics “Domestic Violence: Clinical Considerations” and “Safe Sex in Relationships”.


IG: @mindfulquestrc

Your Instructor

Gloria Lucas
Gloria Lucas

Hello! I’m Gloria Lucas!

I specialize in intersectional eating disorders education and resources that transform the lives of BIPOC individuals and expand eating disorders treatment models. Being the founder and CEO of Nalgona Positivity Pride, I am able to raise awareness through digital media, public speaking, and grassroots activism.

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