They say, “Charity begins at home.” Well, hell can also be at home. “Home” can be the word where there is fear, anxiety, anticipation of what’s coming, suffering—domestic violence. That violence can be physical, mental, and emotional. The Coronavirus pandemic demands that we stay at home. But for many, added to the fear of the coronavirus and financial uncertainty is domestic violence. Being confined at home with their abuser makes victims more vulnerable because there is no escape. On top of that, multiple studies have found that emotionally stressful events can lead to an increase in aggressive behavior at home.
The non-profit organization, Futures Without Violence, states that “People who are surviving violence in their relationships and families may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by social distancing measures during the Coronavirus pandemic. Survivors often have specific needs around safety, health, and confidentiality. We also realize that people who are already more vulnerable to economic and health insecurity are facing additional challenges during this unprecedented time.”
Cognizant of all of the above, they have compiled resources and tools victims of domestic violence. Visit www.futureswithoutviolence.org
According to the National Domestic Hotline (www.thehotline.org), here’s how COVID-19 could uniquely impact intimate partner violence survivors:
•Abusive partners may withhold necessary items, such as hand sanitizer or disinfectants.
•Abusive partners may share misinformation about the pandemic to control or frighten survivors, or to prevent them from seeking appropriate medical attention if they have symptoms.
•Abusive partners may withhold insurance cards, threaten to cancel insurance, or prevent survivors from seeking medical attention if they need it.
•Programs that serve survivors may be significantly impacted –- shelters may be full or may even stop intakes altogether.
•Survivors may also fear entering shelter because of being in close quarters with groups of people.
•Survivors who are older or have chronic heart or lung conditions may be at increased risk in public places where they would typically get support, like shelters, counseling centers, or courthouses.
•Travel restrictions may impact a survivor’s escape or safety plan – it may not be safe for them to use public transportation or to fly.
•An abusive partner may feel more justified and escalate their isolation tactics.
Immigrants and Domestic Violence
Immigrants in the US. have the right to live life free of abuse. Due to the victim’s immigration status, abusive partners have additional ways to exert power and control over their victims. If you are an immigrant or refugee in an abusive relationship, you may face unique issues that make it hard to reach out for help.
A specialized immigration attorney should always be your first point of contact when it comes to immigration questions and concerns. You can also listen to Ask the Lawyer Radio Program on WVIP 93.5FM on Thursdays, 10pm-11pm and Sundays, 11pm to 12am. The program provides great information and, also an opportunity for a FREE, no obligation legal consultation. The number to call is 855-768-8845. You can also visit www.askthelawyer.us Domestic violence is against the law regardless of one’s immigration status. Be a loving family member, good friend, and caring neighbor: please share this information.