Domestic Violence Rates Surge During Quarantine

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The Times

Women protest against domestic violence.

  Due to the stay-at-home order, victims of domestic violence are isolated and left vulnerable in volatile situations. With adults not attending work, and children not attending school, violence rates have increased by 36% according to The Conversation

  All sorts of people can experience domestic violence or intimate partner violence, no matter their age, gender, or socioeconomic status. Domestic violence is described as physical, verbal, or emotional violence within a domestic setting.

  The New England Journal of Medicine describes domestic and intimate partner violence during COVID-19 as, “a pandemic within a pandemic,” as both the volume and severity of cases reported are swelling during the lockdown.

   “Most domestic violence cases happen at home, and everyone is at home now more than ever,” shares Athens Drive sophomore Summer Laskey, “With this being said, we should have seen it sooner and deeper actions should have been taken.”

  Economic influences may also harm victims of domestic violence— the money they may have been storing for an escape may be needed for other expenses during the times of the pandemic. 

  France already opened several hotels to people fleeing violent situations, and New Zealand residents are lending their spare rooms to escapees, but America still needs to catch up in terms of supporting victims.

  Unfortunately, the lack of prioritization and funding for American anti-violence centers during the pandemic puts them at risk of permanent closure. Many non-profit organizations are relying on dwindling emergency funds— while others have already fallen under.

  “I think that the fact that domestic violence rates are rising during quarantine shows just how broken and non-supportive our community and safety/support systems are,” observes Laskey, “Something has to be done in order to get these people into safe situations, no matter what it takes.”

   Many have shared their voices in response to the rising rates. KTLA News reporter Gene Kang is among the few to speak out against domestic violence, recently sharing his personal experiences in a heartfelt Instagram post. 

  Both Kang and his mother are survivors of domestic violence and child abuse. “We never give up,” reflects Kang, “We were able to turn the impossible into possible.” 

  Numerous people in domestic violence situations don’t have the control, safety, or power to speak out— especially during the lockdown. Victims may feel silenced and devalued even more than usual. 

  Laskey offers up words of encouragement to anyone who has yet to escape from their domestic violence circumstances, “Know that there are people out there that care for you and want to help you. Just stay strong and know you can get through and out of this situation.”

  Friends and family of people afflicted by domestic violence can support their loved ones by providing unconditional love and support, and being a loyal confidante. Simply allowing a victim to feel heard can make a world of a difference to them. There is a light at the end of the tunnel for victims of domestic violence.