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covid-19 and domestic violence

Covid-19 and Domestic Violence

Although lockdowns and quarantine are essential to suppressing COVID-19, these techniques can negatively impact survivors of domestic violence by trapping them with their abusive partner and isolating them from their supports (e.g., people and resources which could aid them).

Compounding this issue, prior to the pandemic, domestic violence shelters and social services across the world were already struggling to obtain adequate funding; however, currently, there has been an increase in demand for shelter services across the world.

The closure of courts and the fear of contracting the coronavirus if one leaves their homes fuels impunity for the perpetrators.

Domestic violence flourishes on power and control, and perpetrators may exert this control by spreading misinformation about the virus, stigmatizing their partners, or restricting access to basic necessities (e.g., sexual and reproductive health services, soap and hand sanitizer).

Survivors who are living with their abusers may not have access to a phone or computer or may not have the privacy to safely contact a crisis centre or police services.

The following are suggestions NOT recommendations on how to navigate such situations.