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Has Domestic Violence Increased During the Pandemic?

While stay-at-home orders were intended to protect the public during the global pandemic, many individuals were left subject to increased intimate partner violence (IPV) according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Domestic violence hotlines prepared for an increase in demand for its services and certain states enforced mandates for additional resources. However, while the number of calls to domestic violence hotlines decreased, according to medical experts, the rates of IPV increased due to the victims’ inability to safely connect with such services.

Why Has IPV Increased During This Time?

It is often during times of crisis that inequities are magnified. Many individuals lost their jobs and/or businesses during the pandemic, shifting to figure out how to pay their bills, which put added stress on them and their families. Additionally, being forced to live in closer quarters and limit social interaction, has increased instances of IPV. Increased feelings of loneliness, depression, dissociation from community, and isolation have all been contributing factors to the increase in instances of IPV.

Economic independence is also a factor in preventing IPV. If you cannot care for yourself financially, you may be too afraid to leave your abusive partner. The pandemic increased financial strain, causing unemployment. Additionally, due to lack of alternative sources of housing due to hotel and shelter closures as well as travel restrictions, many people have limited access to safe spaces they would have otherwise. While some shelters have tried to remain open, they must do so at reduced capacity.

School and daycare closures have contributed to stress at home and increased abuse. Also, with schools being closed, teachers are not able to witness and report signs of abuse.

What Is IPV?

1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men will experience IPV in their lifetime. It is a type of intimate violence that can manifest as:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Controlling behavior
  • Sexual abuse
  • Mental abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Forced isolation
  • Verbal abuse

IPV affects individuals of all races, cultures, religions, and socioeconomic classes. It also increases when there are financial issues, unsafe housing, neighborhood violence, and more, which are factors that can worsen the situation. Substantial isolation and loneliness during the pandemic have increased these instances of IPV.

Factors That Can Contribute to an Increase in IPV

Factors that may cause an individual to commit an act of intimate partner violence includes but is not limited to the following:

  • History of abuse and/or violence
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Limited access to education
  • Stress
  • Lack of a social support system
  • Economic pressure
  • Mental health issue or disorder

How to Get Help

Fortunately, there are plenty of resources you can contact to get help. Many of these organizations have also created additional ways to contact them in the event you cannot call them yourself. You can text HOME to the Crisis Text Line to reach a counselor. There is also the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline, which can be reached by dialing 1-800-422-4453. Additionally, you can all the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522. If you are a parent, you can dial the National Parent Hotline at 1-855-427-2736.

There are also local resources, including women’s shelters as well as domestic violence attorneys who can provide you with the support, knowledge, and legal representation you may require.

If you or someone you love has been a victim of domestic violence, do not hesitate to reach out to our firm. We can help ensure your rights are protected.

Secure a consultation with our firm online or call us at (727) 245-9009 to learn more about our domestic violence services.

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