Domestic Violence Amid the Pandemic

Updated: Oct 18, 2021

Domestic violence occurs when a partner in an intimate relationship

attempts to maintain power and control over the other partner through

avenues such as physical and sexual violence, intimidation, isolation from

healthy social supports, emotional and verbal abuse, financial abuse, and

use of children, among others.


We know that domestic violence is common; according to the Center for

Disease Control (CDC), it affects millions of people in the United States each

year. About 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men have experienced physical

violence, sexual violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner within their

lifetime. Domestic violence is not limited to heterosexual relationships; in

fact, those in the LGBTQ+ community experience the same, if not higher,

rates of domestic violence than the heterosexual community and present

with distinctive barriers.


Domestic violence can have both immediate and lasting impacts on the

survivor such as physical injury, chronic physical health issues, and death.

Many survivors often experience depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and

self-worth, and Post-Traumatic-Stress symptoms that can be incapacitating

for the survivor. On a larger scale, the Center for Disease Control (CDC)

estimates that the lifetime economic costs of domestic violence (through

medical care, criminal justice services, etc.) is $3.6 trillion.


It is important to note that domestic violence was a public health issue prior

to the COVID-19 pandemic that hit early 2020. A year and a half into the

pandemic, these rates have grown substantially, about 8% according to an

analysis by NCCCJ. In a world of “the new normal”, we are seeing increased

unemployment rates, financial strain and debt, isolation from social supports,

and restricted access to resources due to influx of need and transition to

services being held virtually. Many families are experiencing extreme

hardship as a result. For those also impacted by domestic violence, the new

normal has been debilitating and has left them with even more

overwhelming barriers to staying safe and/or leaving an abusive/violent

relationship.


If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call

DASACC’s 24/7 hotline and speak to an advocate today. We offer a wide

range of free services including safety planning, case management, legal

advocacy, safe shelter, group counseling, and individual counseling. You are

not alone.


24/7 Hotline/Helpline: 908-453-4181

24/7 Web Chat: https://www.dasacc.org/web-chat

67 views0 comments