The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a stressful time for people. As a community, we find ourselves spending more time at home with our loved ones than before. Because of the nature of COVID-19 and the enforcement of social distancing, there is an increase in domestic violence within our community. According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey more than one-third of women and one in twelve men have experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetime. Below are steps we can take to help stop domestic violence in our community:
Know the Signs - Domestic violence can happen to anyone. Sometimes it happens early in a relationship and other times it takes months or years to appear. But there are generally warning signs. Be wary of the following red flags an abuser may exhibit at any point in a relationship;
Being jealous of your friends or time spent away from your partner
Discouraging you from spending time away from your partner
Embarrassing or shaming you
Controlling all financial decisions or controlling the finances
Making you feel guilty for all the problems in the relationship
Intentionally damaging your property
Threatening violence against you, or someone you love to gain compliance
Pressuring you to have sex when you do not want to
Intimidating you physically, emotionally
Preventing you from working
Do not ignore these signs. If you hear your neighbors engaged in a violent situation, call the police. It could save a life.
Lend an ear if someone confides in you that they are experiencing domestic violence, listen without judgment and ask how you can help.
Be available if someone you know is thinking about leaving or is in fear the violence will escalate be ready to help.
Check-in regularly if a loved one or a friend is in danger reach out to them to ensure their safety.