As the surge in the Covid-19 cases continues, families are required to stay home to protect themselves and their communities. In March, especially stay-at-home orders were put in place, schools were closed, workers furloughed, laid off, or told to work from home for safety. However, the home may not be really a haven for many who experience domestic / family violence, which may include both intimate partners and children.

As of today, the lockdown is over, and restrictions have been lifted in most regions, the pandemic and its effects are still raging on, and the areas that have seen a drop in caseloads are experiencing a second or a third surge.

COVID-19 has not only caused the disconnection of many from community resources and support systems, but this pandemic has also created panic and widespread uncertainty. Such conditions may stimulate violence in families where it did not exist before and worsen situations in homes where mistreatment and violence have been a problem. Violence in the home has an overall cost to society, leading to potentially adverse physical and mental health outcomes, including a higher risk of chronic disease, substance use, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and risky sexual behaviors.

This pandemic has reinforced many important eye-openers: one situation can leave different impacts on different groups of the population. The abusers are empowered, and the victims have no place to go.  Inequities related to social factors of health have been magnified too. Moreover, the pandemic has exacerbated financial entanglement by causing increased job loss and unemployment, particularly among women of color, immigrants, and workers without a college education.  With people losing employment because of Covid-19, financial dependence on an abusive partner becomes extremely complicated.

This pandemic has shown the gap that needs to be filled to ensure that people who experience abuse can access support, refuge, and care when another disaster hits. 

Vani Bhatnagar
Creative Content Writer