Domestic Abuse


As 2020 comes to a close, the breath everyone seemed to be holding is being let out.  It’s been a year of change. Governmental, social and even environmental change has shaken the earth this year.

The election of Joe Biden in America, the small but long overdue racial equality changes, and an expected 7% drop in carbon dioxide emissions are all bright spots in an otherwise bleak, dark year.


Unfortunately, the world has not yet progressed to an ideal reality.  Because the truth is that while the lockdowns have prevented one illness from spreading, they have aided and abetted another.

One in four women and one in ten men will be victims of domestic abuse, physical or mental abuse.

When COVID-19 started spreading at astronomical rates, emergency lockdowns were put into effect. These quarantine orders often locked domestic abuse victims with their abusers.

no safe moments to call

Domestic-violence hotlines anticipated surges in calls but according to the Public Health in Practice journal, the number of calls actually dropped by 50%. You can see how this is a problem, right? Victims could no longer find any safe moments to call the hotlines for any kind of aid.

abusers seek control

There are a few things to understand before getting into the nitty-gritty of how the pandemic has affected domestic abuse. For one thing, no matter the situation, abusers seek control. Whether its emotional or physical abuse, abusers will consistently exert control over the victims. With the illusion of protection, abusers can exert their control through surveillance and with the isolation orders, surveillance is even easier.

Abusers watching the victims with a closer eye makes leaving harder than it was before lockdowns. With that in mind, it’s important to note that the already complicated planning that goes into leaving an abuser, has gotten infinitely more complicated.

The pandemic has not only caused isolation, it also has closed so many resources that victims needed to feel safe in leaving their partners.


Essentially, lockdown has left victims with no options, aggravating the abuse even further.

With the unemployment rate at 6.7% (by comparison, February, it was at 3.5%), stress at home will have considerably increased and the homes that have children will experience the added stress of their children’s education to manage. According to Albert Pefley, a reporter for WPEC CBS 12, West Palm Beach, this stress has led to a rise in child abuse.

few chances to spot

People who would normally recognize any signs of this abuse, like teachers and childcare provider, now have very few chances to spot these signs. This undeniable rise in abuse among families is problematic in of itself, but most of these people can’t even seek help.


COVID-19 has also created barriers around disclosing this kind of information to professionals. These barriers can be anything from the difficulty of filing police reports to the lack of individual trial courts. Not to mention the fact that medical professionals, not being able to see patients as often for safety reasons, have few chances to recognize the signs of abuse, physical or mental.

The pandemic has illuminated countless issues around the world. The lack of organization in most governments has led to countless deaths from COVID-19, and it might lead to even more deaths within the confines of its population’s homes.


The fact that the U.S. couldn’t get itself together for a short but effective lockdown will result in deaths from a multitude of angles.

Bearing all of this in mind, it’s important to be aware of what you can do if you know someone experiencing violence. You should check in with them often and allow them the opportunity to tell you how they are doing. If you can, let this person know that she can always stay with you.

have an escape plan

If you find yourself experiencing violence at home, it’s important to think ahead.  Have a safety plan, and please do not delay getting emergency care for fear of COVID-19 contamination if you are injured.


People at urgent cares and emergency rooms are trained and can help you. These places are less busy than they normally are so medical staff have more time on their hands to help you get out of any situation in which you might feel like you’re in danger.

Be safe and conscientious of the people around you. Hopefully this will all be over quicker than it started.

About the Article

A look at how a glass ceiling still exists for women and how to go beyond.

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