“Abuse doesn’t stop in times of pandemic:” Women Are Reporting Extreme Domestic Violence
As major cities in the U.S. begin to enlist stay-at-home orders, most of the nation has forgotten about the one-of-three women in the world who experience domestic violence.
“When the place that you’re being asked to shelter in is also the same place as the person who is harming you, then that creates a whole other level of fear and anxiety and danger,” said Stephanie Love-Patterson, executive director of Connections for Abused Women and their Children, which runs one of Chicago’s domestic violence shelters. “Abuse doesn’t stop in times of pandemic.”
Amanda Pyron, executive director of the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network told Chicago Tribune that stress levels and isolation are a horrible concoction for victims in abusive homes.
Pyron says the inbound calls have spiked in the month of March. Typically, they receive an average of 60 calls a day toward the beginning of the month and climb upward to about 90 a day in the final days of a month. But calls have already spiked to 90 a day.
This is a nationwide issue. Women in California have also shared disheartening stories.
“I spoke to a female caller in California that is self-quarantining for protection from COVID-19 due to having asthma,” an advocate at the National Domestic Violence Hotline wrote in the organization’s logbook. “Her partner strangled her tonight. While talking to her, it sounded like she has some really serious injuries. She is scared to go to the ER due to fear around catching COVID-19.”
Politico reporter Timothy Noah asked a D.C. police officer what he noticed since the coronavirus outbreak sent everyone home. “More domestic violence,” he said without hesitation.
One out of three women in the world experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, according to the World Health Organization. During a time of crisis like epidemics and natural disasters, the risk of violence increases to a heartbreaking degree.
This is evident in the reports by Axios, who learned that China reported that the number of domestic violence cases tripled in February compared to the previous year. Social activists believe that’s in large part due to the mandated stay-at-home order.
RAINN shared this information on Twitter for survivors of domestic violence to help during these uncertain times:
For more information about safety, planning visit their website: https://www.rainn.org/articles/safety-planning.
For help, the Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline is 877-863-6338; Connections for Abused Women and their Children’s hotline is 773-278-4566.
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