The COVID-19 pandemic has been daunting and disruptive in many ways. One area that has gotten the attention of persons involved in human rights organizations is the increase in domestic or intimate partner violence.
Prior to the pandemic, studies show that one in four women and one in ten men were the victims of domestic violence. The post-pandemic numbers are much harder to define but there is significant evidence that we should be concerned about what is happening.
Possible Reasons For The Increase in Domestic Violence
According to health experts, one factor that has influenced the increase in domestic violence is prolonged isolation. While the stay-at-home and work-from-home orders are helpful for reducing the spread of the virus, they have also forced persons to stay home more.
Prior to the pandemic, having the abuser outside of the home reduced the likelihood of abusive episodes.
Being forced to stay at home has also removed options that abusers typically used to relieve their stress. That means they might be even more likely to take out their frustrations at home. Unfortunately, the forced isolation also affects how the victims of domestic abuse can cope.
Another factor is the loss of control that abusers will experience. The pandemic has taken a lot of decisions out of the hands of the people. Persons no longer have control over where they can go, what they can do, or even their financial situation.
Since abusers are already driven by the need for control, they may try to compensate for this loss by becoming stricter on their partners.
Finally, the pandemic has increased the incidents of substance and alcohol abuse. While persons might be using these avenues as ways to deal with their stress, they’re also more likely to lose control with their partners. That means even those who have not shown signs of being abusive before could start.
Typical Signs of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence can take different forms. There might be physical, emotional, sexual, or even financial abuse. Some of the signs that you need to look out for include: