Anti-domestic violence campaigners are concerned that the impact of the coronavirus is putting extra pressure on the sector.
Self-isolation can lead to an increase in domestic violence as people are ‘stuck’ indoors with no way to vent their frustrations and fears. For many, the ‘forced’ isolation acts as a trigger for violence.
Concerns about job stability, unemployment, weakening economies and global recession coupled with the feeling of being trapped can easily push domestic violence perpetrators over the edge. The thing to remember is that the coronavirus disaster is overlaying on other disasters that are happening in people’s lives.
These secondary effects of the pandemic are already being experienced in China, with activists reporting a surge in cases of domestic abuse as a result of the lockdown. Wan Fei, a retired police officer who now runs an anti-domestic violence nonprofit organisation in Jingzhou, Hubei, said the number of cases has almost doubled since the quarantine began. “The epidemic has had a huge impact on domestic violence,” the activist said. “According to our statistics, 90% of the causes of violence are related to the Covid-19 epidemic.”
Victims of domestic violence are urged to reach out to trusted friends and professionals. From simple measures like the use of panic buttons in the home to arranging “safe words” with friends or family outside the home, measures must be taken to protect victims of abuse.
Red Alert offers Emergency Out of Home solutions in app format so if you are afraid that you may be headed for isolation and potential abuse, download the emergency app from your Google Play store.