WASHINGTON (WLNS) – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, more people are being required to stay home to protect their communities, but the home may not be safe for many families who experience domestic violence or child abuse.
Lockdown conditions could develop violence in families where it didn’t exist before and make situations worse in homes where mistreatment has been a problem, according to resources from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) >>>
In the United States, about 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) including sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Over 43 million women and 38 million men in the U.S. experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime. About 41% of female survivors and 14% of male survivors experience some form of physical injury related to intimate partner violence.
Roughly 1 in 6 homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner, according to data from U.S. crime reports. The reports also found that nearly half of female homicide victims in the U.S. are killed by a current or former male intimate partner.
SAMSHA shares a concern many organizations have during COVID-19 that these intimate partner violence will dramatically rise in as a result of social distancing and quarantine.
Department of Justice, Office of Women’s Health – Local Resources on Domestic Violence >>>
Before the pandemic, a survivor or victim could flee a violent situation or file a protective order with the police, but those options aren’t as easily available right now as victims may be forced to stay in a dangerous situation.
When survivors are forced to stay in the home or in close proximity to their abuser more frequently, an abuser can use any tool to exert control over their victim, including a national health concern such as COVID-19.
For any victims and survivors who need support, call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 for TTY. If you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.
About 11 million women and 5 million men who reported experiencing sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime said that they first experienced these forms of violence before the age of 18.
At least 1 in 7 children have experienced child abuse or neglect in the past year and in 2018 nearly 1,770 children died of abuse and neglect in the United States, according to the CDC.
Prevent Child Abuse America – Coronavirus Resources & Tips for Parents, Children & Others >>>
Research shows that increased stress levels among parents is often a major predictor of physical abuse and neglect of children, which makes children especially vulnerable to abuse during COVID-19.
Stressed parents may be more likely to respond to their children’s anxious behaviors or demands in aggressive or abusive ways.
Support systems such as extended family, child care and schools, religious groups as well other community organizations, are not as easily available.
Since children are not going to school, teachers and school counselors are unable to witness the signs of abuse and report to the proper authorities.
Child abuse and neglect are serious problems that can have lasting harmful effects on its victims. For more information on preventing child abuse and neglect check out resources from the CDC or call The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453 for help.