Coronavirus and Domestic Violence by Silver RavenWolf
In 2012 I wrote on my WordPress blog about my experiences as a domestic violence victim/survivor. As the news began rolling in last week focusing on self-quarantine, I started getting nervous. And, not for myself. My mind raced to those bad days and what would have happened, how worse it could have been for me if I had been forced to stay in my apartment with that physically and emotionally abusive piece of garbage.
Quarantine means stuck. Stuck means violence. Violence means pain. Pain leads to broken bones. Bodily damage leads to death. Hey! Your brain goes there if you have survived domestic violence.
As then the mandated shut-downs began to unfold. I know the absolute terror the victims are going through. "The Greater Good" is not thinking of them. Everyone is all in a tizzy over getting sick. Of having enough to eat. Of figuring out how they are going to pay their bills now that they spent all their money on stocking food.
For the domestic violence victim -- the reality is different. The Shining is real. Who has to be afraid of a virus when there is a human monster lurking in the house? Which is more dangerous?
If this is you. If you are a victim. If you or your family are in danger -- please seek assistance!
Here’s what Domestic Abuse Advocates have heard from some survivors reaching out copied from their website:
“A chatter mentioned that the abuser was using the virus as a scare tactic to keep the survivor away from their kids.
”A chatter said the abuser was using COVID-19 as a scare tactic so that they would not visit family.”
“A health professional still living with their abuser called and said they were physically abused that night because their abuser was sure they were trying to infect them with COVID-19.
Here’s how COVID-19 could uniquely impact intimate partner violence survivors:
Abusive partners may withhold necessary items, such as hand sanitizer or disinfectants.
Abusive partners may share misinformation about the pandemic to control or frighten survivors, or to prevent them from seeking appropriate medical attention if they have symptoms.
Abusive partners may withhold insurance cards, threaten to cancel insurance, or prevent survivors from seeking medical attention if they need it.
Programs that serve survivors may be significantly impacted –- shelters may be full or may even stop intakes altogether. Survivors may also fear entering shelter because of being in close quarters with groups of people.
Survivors who are older or have chronic heart or lung conditions may be at increased risk in public places where they would typically get support, like shelters, counseling centers, or courthouses.
Travel restrictions may impact a survivor’s escape or safety plan – it may not be safe for them to use public transportation or to fly.
An abusive partner may feel more justified and escalate their isolation tactics.
If you or someone you know needs assistance, please, please, please, please:
Visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline Website
or Call: 1-800-799-7233
You can do this! Don't fight two demons (the virus and the human) alone-- get help. You deserve it! I made it -- so can you!
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