Did you know that in a typical year 243 million women and girls will experience intimate partner violence? Amid the pandemic, calls to helplines increased as much as 5x. The pandemic caused a direct increase, but why?
One of the biggest reasons that there were more calls to domestic violence hotlines was because abusers had almost complete access to their victims. With lockdowns across the country, couples were stuck in their homes unable to leave for work, school, or even to just sit and chat with friends. This meant less access to mandated reporters such as teachers, child-care providers, and doctors as well as less access to friends and family members who would suspect signs of abuse.
There were also increased stressors during the pandemic that led to higher rates of abuse. People who were already showing warning signs of abusive behavior were triggered by added financial and health stress that could lead to enacting actual violence on their partner.
If you or someone you know experienced domestic abuse during the pandemic or continue to experience abuse now, there are steps you can take to get help.
The best way to find local resources near you is to look through your local service provider directory. This can show you shelters, clinics, or counseling groups that can help you or your loved one leave an abusive situation. If you want to report your abuse, visit your local police station to file a report. If you bring documentation of abuse, it can help in the process of filing restraining orders or bringing charges against an abuser.
The most important thing to know if you are experiencing domestic abuse is that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you leave an abusive situation and get the help you need. Learn more about how to find local resources in the infographic below: