- Domestic violence takes place within a domestic space.
- These violations that take place within the confines of a home are usually indulged by the intimate partner (IPV).
- Domestic violence is rising and the surge during the pandemic is very high.
- It is vital that the voices and needs of victim-survivors are not over-looked or under-represented.
Violence is a tool used to prevent a partner from leaving a relationship or to punish them for being unfaithful even if meant forcibly compelling them to stay. In one abuser’s words,’ “I could make her do whatever I wanted. I was trying to intimidate her. I wanted to control her for the simple reason that I knew I could do it. It made me feel powerful.”
Whenever an intimate partner uses emotional, psychological, sexual or physical force intentionally to control another, then domestic violence is being displayed.
It is extremely tough to measure the scope of domestic violence. Especially during covid-19 as people are confined indoors and unfortunately the victim can’t escape the abuser. Crime statistics show this depict the same. According to the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics, women make up 85% of domestic violence victims
Tasha Menakar heads a statewide coalition of domestic violence organizations immigration. She says in Arizona victims prefer hotlines to plea for help during domestic violence. The abuser may try to verbally, physically intimidate or emotionally blackmail. The violent behavior is displayed by destructing property, killing or injuring pets, or indulging in rape and other brutal physical tactics.
A Victims councilor for Austin in Texas’s police department said neighbors and witnesses of domestic violence victims call and inform about the atrocity because they themselves are unable to reach out.
Public crime data of more than 40 cities that specifically flag domestic violence incidents in their public data in City of Chicago and in Austin, Texas and in these statistics indicate that overall crime rate fell but domestic violence increased. For instance in Chicago, overall crime dropped by 43% but domestic violence fell only by 23%.
A study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics revealed that even when normalcy prevailed, only half the victims who were assaulted by a family member sought help.
Victims remain ‘silent’ because of pandemic factors such as stay-at-home orders and unemployment – nytimes. Victims sadly feel that it is better to tolerate abuse than move into a shelter where the victim and the children could be exposed to covid-19 or the abuser might be the sole breadwinner. Cost-benefit analysis stops them from reaching out for help.
Margaret Bassett, training director at the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault at the University of Texas at Austin says, “Women stay because they’re afraid to leave, and they leave when they’re afraid to stay.” One in 4 women and one in 10 men experience IPV (Intimate Partner Violence) and violence can take various forms: it can be physical, emotional, sexual, or psychological.
Webmd sites pandemic lockdowns triggering a surge in cases of domestic violence.Researcher Jackie Campbell of Johns Hopkins’ School of Nursing answers questions on spousal abuse and other domestic violence in light of COVID-19-related stress in this website.
Survivors of domestic violence must approach existing support systems, use hotlines or inform their ‘near and dear’ or a friendly neighbor and seek immediate help before a calamity befalls them. The World is continuing to grapple with the grave COVID virus. The corona pandemic is not only causing innumerable deaths each day but also causing evictions, unemployment, depression, mental health and psychological ‘issues’ and a big surge of domestic violence.