Domestic violence victims are experiencing perilous times.
Sheltering in place because of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has intensified the sufferings of adult victims in a violent household, reported the Oakland Post. Women speak of their feelings of uncertainty, ‘Should they try to leave or stick it out?’
“Many feel trapped while others are leaving due to the increased abuse,” said Carolyn Russell, executive director of A Safe Place Domestic Violence Assistance Program, who wrote the Post article.
“The grim effects of household traumatization on adult victims and children will be long-term, said Russell. “Feeling trapped in their home during the pandemic, victims fear the uncertainty of their future.
“Family and friends are reluctant to welcome another family into their homes due to safety issues created by the virus,” she added.
Another problem is that the courts were closed and though they’re open now they’re working at a greatly reduced level.
“Child custody orders, protective orders and other domestic violence-related matters are not getting the same attention due to restricted court schedules,” Russell wrote in the Post. Facing the loss of power, loss of control, mental and physical abuse and court closures, the victims of household violence are also exposed to an economic crisis. The perpetrator may withhold financial support from the spouse. “Women tell stories of perpetrators threatening to ‘put them out’,” Russell said.
Children at home have no escape now. The support they would normally get at school and extracurricular activities are gone. Russell worries that there will be long-term mental and physical effects because of these months spent in confinement.
“Minority communities are often most affected during disasters, often forced to compromise their health to maintain employment, and it is even worse for survivors of domestic violence,” wrote Russell.
Sheltering in place during this pandemic is critical and is an effective way to stay safe. Nevertheless, it has had a negative impact on adult victims
and their children, Russell concluded.