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
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 Beyond safety - bills, free lunches, generate your own code word and DO NOT PUBLISH IT ON SOCIAL (abusers are on the internet too)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