Covid19 has done a lot of damage to almost every aspect of life. Daily life changed for everyone, and for some people, it became more dangerous. There is a pandemic within the pandemic, and it is domestic violence. Domestic violence cases spiked immensely after stay-at-home orders were set in place. Many people were forced to be stuck inside 24/7 with abusive partners and nowhere to go for help.
After the stay-at-home orders and other regulations were put in place, domestic violence hotline services prepared for an increase in calls. According to an article on nejm.com, In some regions, the calls dropped by 50%. This is likely a result of victims being shut in with their abusers at all times and not having a moment available to get to a private place to make the call without their abuser finding out. Even though some restrictions have been lifted in some regions, the pandemic’s effects continue to live on. There is an unsteady future on when the lockdowns will officially stop, so the violence will likely continue.
People of all backgrounds, cultures, and socioeconomic cultures experience domestic violence, but there is no doubt that it disproportionately affects lower-income families. Unstable economic situations, dangerous housing, violent neighborhoods, and more only worsen already agitated conditions. The pandemic has only further deepened many people’s financial trouble. Many workers were furloughed or laid off, some waiting months for unemployment. These issues have undoubtedly increased stress among relationships, leading to more violence if it was already occurring.
As the second wave of covid is unfolding, certain procedures could address domestic violence surges more efficiently. Communities need to implement equal access to internet services in homes. Additionally, wireless access points in public places would be beneficial. Increased access to telehealth would enable victims to have more opportunities to reach out for help. Clinicians could educate themselves on community resources, screen their patients, and encourage signals through video call appointments. Public health officials and policymakers need to put more effort into ensuring equal access to care for everyone, no matter their economic or social situation. Domestic violence has always been an issue, but the pandemic of COVID19 has shown us how much work needs to be done to increase safety.