Domestic violence occurs everywhere in the world with as many as 243 million women struggling through domestic violence being inflicted by their intimate partner each year. However, there has been a rise in domestic violence amidst COVID-19, with helplines receiving five times as many calls as normal and more people downloading spyware for security against cyberstalking. In the U.S., minority groups were the hardest hit with rates of abuse rising up to 50% or more.
There are several reasons why there has been an increase in domestic abuse worldwide. One is greater concern for living conditions, financial situation, unemployment, security, and health. Another is the increase in opportunities to enact abuse with the increase in isolation and decrease in access to crowded public spaces with witnesses. Fewer safeguards like interactions with others and lack of access to telehealth can also contribute to the rise in domestic violence.
Did you know that only 345 of people who are injured by an intimate partner accept medical care? Worse, barely half of domestic incidents actually don’t get reported. Why is this so?
Victims usually don’t report domestic abuse due to the social pressure and embarrassment that is felt, loss of self-esteem or belief that anyone will believe, and a strong dependence on the partner for financial support. Those who own pets also can get manipulated into enduring the domestic abuse for their pets.
Thankfully, there are ways to help those who are or might be suffering from domestic abuse. Understanding the warning signs, like the partner intentionally damaging property, constantly blaming problems on the victim, or controlling all the financial decisions, can help one take note of possible incidents or directly call the police before the victim gets into serious trouble. Lending an ear to victims can also be helpful to those who need to work out their situation as well as researching and sharing local resources that can help those who aren’t able to actively research help themselves can save someone from their abusive situation.