How does COVID-19 affect domestic violence victims and survivors?
Abuse is about power and control. Social distancing due to COVID-19 means that many domestic violence victims are forced to stay in close proximity to their abuser. Abusers can use this situation to exert more control over their victims. A common form of abuse is isolation – keeping their victims away from their friends, family, and coworkers. Now that many are out of work, working from home, or studying remotely, further isolation is a major concern.
“A chatter mentioned that the abuser was using the virus as a scare tactic to keep the survivor away from their kids.”National Domestic Violence Hotline
Travel restrictions may impact victims’ safety plans, and those who have chronic conditions might be at increased risk in public places such as shelters. The current public health crisis may increase survivors’ stress and anxiety. But help is available.
No one deserves to be abused. If you are or have been a victim of abuse, it is extremely important to seek help.
If you are in an emergency situation, please call 911.
If you are concerned for the safety of yourself or someone you know, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), TTY 1-800-787-3224, or by utilizing their Live Chat Service.
If you are concerned for the safety of a child, you can also call or text Childhelp Hotline at 1-800-422-4453, or utilize their live chat.
Resources for victims and survivors during COVID-19
The National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7
The National Sexual Assault Hotline 24/7
Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m
StrongHearts Native Helpline
Specifically for Native communities
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Comprehensive list of hotlines
Are you concerned for a loved one?
During this public health crisis, checking on domestic violence victims and survivors is extremely important. Use technology to stay in touch with your loved ones – call, video chat, or use social media. Let them know you are there for them, let them know they are not alone. If you are concerned for a loved one’s safety, you can contact the hotlines listed above for assistance.
Recognizing abusive behaviors
Domestic violence is a serious national problem which affects all ages, cultures, sexual orientations, genders, marital statuses, socio-economic backgrounds, and education levels. While all genders are affected by domestic violence, women are most often the victims.
Abusive behaviors include physical abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, economic/financial abuse, stalking, harassment, and sexual abuse.
Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.Desmond Tutu