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COVID-19 & Domestic Violence + Ways You Can Help

What does domestic violence look like in light of COVID-19 lockdown measures?

Increased isolation control

  • Can't go to dr appts

  • Victim isn't able to leave the house

  • Can’t get help

  • Can’t call or have conversations

  • abuser is watching your every move and / or listening to your every call

Increased fear

  • Trying to leave is most deadly time

    • Limited options to escape

    • If injured, can they even get to the hospital and be prioritized?

    • Uncertainty about the future - no income, so they're forced to make difficult decisions about keeping family safe and in most instances meaning staying with the abuser

    • Gun sales have gone up. Stats say a woman is 5x more likely to be killed if a gun is in the home.

    • Calling the police - will they come? racial fears on calling. Will the abuser get out of jail and retaliate?

    • Limited access to resources - if a plan to leave was in the works can't move forward, and definitely can’t now, no safe space for kids to go to, survivors may not be able to communicate, can’t call the helpline

How you can help

  • Stay in touch - keep it generic / don’t stop calling

  • Keep asking how they feel/asking questions

  • Listen and be supportive and not judgmental

  • Keep their business confidential

  • How can I help? Is there anything I can do? Beyond safety - bills, free lunches, generate your own code word and DO NOT PUBLISH IT ON SOCIAL (abusers are on the internet too)

  • Don’t try to fix everything

  • Your role and goal is to be a trusted contact and resource. Keep your eyes open

  • Listen and look for what’s not being said and being said

  • Be a safe space

  • Understand the dynamics of Domestic Violence

    • Know the national hotline number and have it accessible

    • Download the RUSafe app

    • Identify your state domestic violence coalition

    • Live chats are options if they can’t call the helpline

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