Social distancing, self-quarantine, isolation.
They’re an inconvenience, bothersome, disruptive for most of us, but, as Licensed Professional Counselor Kimberly Boyd points out, these trying times can increase the likelihood of domestic abuse.
“These times when we’re faced with COVID-19 are similar to the holiday season and summer when domestic violence, sexual abuse and child abuse rates escalate,” she said.
The stress from financial, employment, family and health concerns are all risk factors for abuse.
“With social distancing and children being out of school, there is a lack of a safety network and support for the younger generation,” Boyd said, “and the same holds true for individuals not able to go to their place of employment.”
Batterers tend to use caution regarding leaving marks, so their abuse goes unnoticed, Boyd said, but since everyone is home, there is less concern about leaving marks and the likelihood for more traumatic injuries.
“I encourage individuals with concerns about another’s safety to reach out, so they know they have a point of contact,” she said. “Shelters are open and available.”
Boyd encourages those in danger or who know someone in danger to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or call local authorities.