A NEW COVID-19 Issue: Domestic Violence

The time has come to think about an issue that many of us may not have been thinking about at this point of the pandemic.

How are your relationships right now?

I'm not just talking about your relationship with your significant other; I'm talking about your relationships with your family and friends, too. More to the point, what is your relationship like with the people you're quarantined with?

Easter is coming up. For many, part of what makes the holidays so stressful is being forced to be with family at close proximity for extended periods of time. That weird aunt and uncle fly in and stay with you. So does Grandma and Grandpa. Throw some wild cousins into the mix and you may quickly start to feel suffocated in your own house.

Isn't that exactly what we're going through right now? We're all cooped up in our homes--all but trapped, really--with the same people, day in and day out.

People get sick of each other. Even the happiest of couples start to bicker. You need your space, but in these circumstances, "getting some space" might only mean going into another room, or stepping out to take a breather in the car. There aren't many options.

This kind of environment is perfect for abusers to do their ugly work on their victims. Yes--according to THE NEW YORK TIMES and sociologist Marianne Hester of Bristol University, domestic violence and abuse is on the rise. And this phenomenon is WORLDWIDE.

This quarantined environment lends itself all too well to the kind that abusers try to create: one of isolation and fear.

Emotions are running high. Logistically, it may not seem like there are many options for escape. It's very easy to feel trapped right now, like there's no way out.

Let's stop this cycle. If you and your significant other, or anyone else in your house, are arguing a lot, do try to get that space to cool off as best you can. If there are children involved, do everything you can to protect them. It's very easy to feel alone, even in a house full of people.

If you are in a situation where there is domestic abuse, or you suspect domestic abuse, you don't have to feel alone. You can ALWAYS call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), even during these times. You can also visit https://www.thehotline.org/help/. Many mental health facilities are still available by phone. And also remember that your local police are one of those "essential" jobs that are still up and running. Help will come.

It may also help you to come up with a safety plan, like the one pictured here.

Stay safe. Hold each other close. Check on each other. You're not alone.


To read the article by THE NEW YORK TIMES, go to https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/06/world/coronavirus-domestic-violence.html

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