In the midst of our current health crisis, social distancing is a way to flatten the curve and slow the coronavirus outbreak for a vast majority of individuals. But for victims of domestic violence, these safety measures are leaving a devastating impact.
Coronavirus’ Impact on Domestic Violence
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. In just one year, that equates to more than 10 million women and men. These startling statistics show that this is a terrible epidemic.
In a nation with millions of domestic violence reports, concerns for victims in the US are rising as government officials enforce more lockdowns and restrictions each day. Many experts and activists recognize the importance of isolation, but they also want to show how it may provide opportunities for perpetrators to unleash more violence.
There has already been an increase in domestic violence in China. Wan Fei, the founder of an anti-violence nonprofit in Jingzhou, Hubei revealed in an interview that reports of domestic violence have nearly doubled since cities were put under lockdown. “According to our statistics, 90% of the causes of violence are related to the Covid-19 [pandemic],” Wan says.
Oftentimes, victims must be alone and away from their abuser before seeking help. Moreso, victims who are hesitant to seek help may find it even harder to get aid because of the increased social distancing measures.
What Survivors Living in Domestic Violence Can Do
It’s important for us to stress that there are options and resources for people living with an abuser. Advocates at the National Association of Domestic Violence are readily available through their hotline, 1-800-SAFE (7233), which is free, confidential, and available in more than 200 languages. A call may not be possible with the current situation, which is why they offer live chat services or texting, making it more possible for victims to seek out help. Although shelters and other resources may be limited, digital communicators are readily available.
During this unprecedented time, it’s vital for trusted friends and family members to reach out to those who may be living with an abuser. Lending a helping hand can make a significant difference.
If you have been involved in intimate partner violence, Advocate Law Firm, P.A. is here to protect you from further harm. Call us today at (863) 644-5566 to schedule a free consultation.