The Potential Impact of COVID-19 on Domestic Violence

COVID-19’s long-lasting effects continue to be felt even as vaccine rollouts begin. Amidst the death, illness, and economic turmoil, domestic violence has become another serious consequence of the pandemic. In fact, domestic violence cases increased 35 percent during the first few weeks after stay at home orders were put in place in 2020. Here is a closer look at why domestic violence, sexual abuse, and other related problems are on the rise.

COVID-19 & Domestic Violence

All domestic violence comes from a desire to have power and control over others. Naturally, such power is easier to exercise when everyone is in close proximity with each other. In fact, studies have previously found that domestic violence in abusive relationships increases during summer vacation and the Christmas holidays, when families have more time together.

Stay at home orders, the transition to working from home, and the cancellation of activities results in more time with everyone together in the house. Added stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic further heighten tensions, making abuse more likely. Abusers often try to isolate their victims, and COVID-19 has created a convenient way to extend that isolation even further.

Vulnerable Populations

Clearly, the more someone’s daily routine has been impacted by the pandemic, the more likely they are to experience domestic violence from their partner. Children, spouses, and elderly parents can be victimized by an abuser’s actions. An abuser may try to create further isolation from friends and family, often using COVID-19 as an excuse. They may enforce strict rules, restrict access to necessities (such as money or food), or threaten their victims. Individuals who are already in a difficult relationship or who are unable to leave home due to medical concerns are at an even greater risk than others.

If you or someone you know is in danger of domestic violence or other harm, don’t wait. Seek help immediately to get out of your situation. OneEighty offers comprehensive and compassionate service for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Call our 24/7 domestic violence and sexual assault hotline at 1-800-686-1122 to get the help you need today.