Quarantine During Coronavirus Dangerous for Domestic Violence Survivors
While social distancing by way of home quarantine is the way to go to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, it can also prove to be dangerous for domestic violence survivors. What has become a mandate in cities all over the world, quarantine unfortunately keeps victims trapped with their abusers.
Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Women Anita Bhatia told TIME magazine that while the UN supports the need for social distancing and isolation, “we also recognize that it provides an opportunity for abusers to unleash more violence.”
According to the World Health Organization, one out of three women in the world experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Women are the majority of survivors but those in the LGBTQ community also face increased rates of domestic violence.
Data from the World Health Organization found that in times of natural disasters and crisis, the rate of gender-based violence is elevated. Axios.com found the number of domestic violence cases reported to the local police in China tripled in February, as compared to the number of cases reported at the same time last year. February was a time of mandated quarantines for all in China.
According to a TIME magazine article, the usual resources for help, shelters and social services, are limited as “health systems are overloaded, making it more difficult for victims to get access to medical care or therapists.” Budget cuts due to a likely recession also puts survivors at risk.
For survivors, the coronavirus pandemic has led to a lack of options for a way out. Many are afraid to seek medical treatment after experiencing physical abuse for fear of being exposed to the virus at a hospital, many who were saving money to escape are now faced with layoffs, cutting off their only source of financial means, and many cannot seek refuge at their elderly parents homes as to not risk potential exposure to them.
CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline Katie Ray-Jones told TIME, “We are in uncharted territories in terms of what survivors are going to experience.”
And if you are experiencing domestic violence, you can go to the National Domestic Violence Hotline's website, call the 24/7 hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text to LOVEIS to 22522.