FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — The Fairfax County Commission for Women held a forum to honor women who have worked on the frontlines throughout the pandemic in celebration of Women’s History Month. The women honored in the forum represent thousands who work to make Fairfax residents feel safe and have what they need. 

The women discussed how their areas of work have been impacted by the pandemic.

“What has been particularly difficult for me to witness is the fear and anxiety that members of our community have experienced, particularly our older adults, as the number of cases and deaths have continued to climb,” said Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu, director of the Fairfax County Health Department.

Firefighters have been put to the test with less assistance and equipped with several layers of PPE, often making it difficult to breathe or even see.

“Our firefighters faced additional physical and emotional challenges related to the pandemic. For example, we were required to minimize exposure to patients and family members by working in smaller groups but the impact of that was it increased the workload on the individual providers,” stated Deputy Chief Tracey Reed, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.

With more people at home, domestic violence rates have increased, causing many county workers to help women out of negative situations. The Fairfax County Police Department said domestic violence calls have increased.

“If we’re talking about domestic violence or sexual assaults, more perpetrators are within the homes of those victims or people they know, and contributing factors to domestic violence include isolation, loss of work and financial strain and we saw all of that nationwide,” explained Captain Brooke D. Wright, Fairfax County Police Department.

The Commission for Women was successful in shining light on the women who work every day, putting the safety and care of residents first.

To watch the forum, visit the Fairfax County Commission for Women’s Facebook page here.