The coronavirus outbreak is forcing millions to stay in their home for days on end and for victims of domestic abuse that can be worse than going out.
According to NewsOne, before the outbreak began an average of 20 people across the country experienced domestic violence every minute. Additionally, research shows 1 in 4 adult American women and 1 in 7 adult American men have experienced some type of severe violence including being struck with an object, being kicked or punched, or being burned at the hands of a partner.
As bad as those numbers are, disasters whether natural or due to human factors, make things worse. The Seattle Police Department announced on Twitter they’ve seen a 21% rise in domestic violence incidents since Washington enacted quarantine restrictions. The Montgomery County District Attorney in Texas saw a 35% increase in domestic violence cases.
NYC Hope, New York City’s domestic violence resource website, has seen daily hits to its website surge. According to the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, site visits went from 45 per day to 115 visits per day between March 18 and April 5.
Police departments across the country are changing their domestic violence response plans to ensure victims can safely leave a bad situation even during the outbreak.
Domestic violence advocates believe abusers are trying to assert power and control in a time where regular routines for work, education, exercise, entertainment, and socializing have all been disrupted. Millions have lost their jobs or had their hours or pay reduced forcing them to stay at home feeling powerless.
Divorce rates are also rising around the world in places where quarantine restrictions are being relaxed. Many expect the same to happen in America when quarantine restrictions are eased. Futures Without Violence has a resource page for those looking for assistance during the outbreak.
The coronavirus outbreak has stalled markets changing everyday activities from shopping to social activities.