How Coronavirus is Affecting Domestic Violence Victims
The coronavirus’ mandatory isolation requirements have left many victims of domestic violence locked in with their abusers, isolated from people and resources that could help them.
Domestic violence is a widespread issue, affecting men and women all over the globe. Some important facts to consider about domestic violence are:
• 1 out of 3 women in the world experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetimes
• Men do experience domestic violence, though women make up the majority of victims
• LGBTQ+ individuals also face high rates of domestic violence
• During a crisis, the risk of violence escalates
• In February, during China’s COVID-19 lockdown, the number of domestic violence cases reported to the local police tripled.
During the current crisis, victims of domestic violence are finding it extremely hard to seek out the help they need. Medical facilities are busier than ever, making it difficult for victims to get appointments with therapists or receive necessary medical care. The fear of contracting the virus has also prevented many victims from leaving the house to seek out appropriate care after being abused.
In a normal situation, many victims seek refuge at their parents’ house, however, during this crisis, many feel that they can’t find safety at their parents’ houses due to fears of exposing them to harmful contagion. Travel restrictions also create a new barrier between victims and places of refuge. Additionally, Women’s shelters might be too crowded or have been forced to close their doors in order to comply with social distancing regulations.
Financial tensions also tend to be a catalyst for domestic violence situations and as the pandemic takes a toll on families financially, it becomes even harder for spouses to leave their abusive partner. Recently UN Women, a United Nations entity, called on governments to provide packages for paid sick leave and unpaid care work, providing women facing domestic violence to receive an outlet for financial independence from their abusers. However, at this time, no such measures have been officially taken to help victims of domestic violence.
Certain essential services like the National Domestic Violence hotline are still available during this crisis. Consider calling their hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) if needed or visit their website for more resources.
If you are a victim of domestic violence and want to pursue legal action, Shah & Kishore can help. We will be your advocate every step of the way, fighting for your safety and wellbeing. Our phone lines are open 24/7 and we also offer video conferencing options to help you through these challenging times.