COVID-19 linked with rise in domestic violence

There is a frequent rise in domestic violence cases, as the activists worldwide have reported an alarming increase in domestic violence cases since the start of coronavirus related quarantines.

Starting form Wuhan in February, while the province was under strict lockdown, one police station had reported a threefold increase in the complaints compared with the same period last year. The advocates are concerned that this dreary reality has reached the United States also where experts say one in four women is the victim of domestic violence, and one in seven men face the physical violence by a partner at some point in their lifetimes.

While stay-at-home, the US population told that more than three-quarters of them are unsafe with the pandemic’s spread and partner’s abuse. Nowhere is safe for victims of intimate partner violence. A self-quarantine puts them in continuous proximity to their abuser by leaving them not just to a deadly virus but a world that has largely closed its doors.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the National Domestic Violence Hotline received 951 callers between 10 and 24 March, which typically receives up to 2,000 calls per day, who mentioned COVID-19 while reporting their abuse. A caller from New York reported that being awakened from the bed because she had a fever and wasn’t feeling as well. And her abuser just threw her out of the front door and kept their child.

Another victim told the hotline that she was being kept home against her will after being threatened with a hammer by her abuser. He was also using the pandemic case as an excuse to stop her from leaving him, she said.

“We are hearing from survivors how COVID-19 is already being used by their abusive partners to further control and abuse, how COVID-19 is already impacting their ability to access support and services like accessing shelter, counseling, different things that they would typically lean on in their communities,” says Crystal Justice, the chief marketing and development officer at NDVH.
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“We want people to socially distance themselves as much as possible, but that really has impacts for people,” says Kimberlina Kavern, senior director of the crime victim assistance program at Safe Horizon, a New York-based victim assistance organization. “A domestic violence victim is likely not able to pick up the phone and call somebody for help because their abusive partner is in the home or in the room with them.”