As the United States continues to try and navigate from the ongoing devastation from the COVID-19 pandemic, The Center for American Progress has stated “there has been a significant surge in intimate partner violence.” (1) It is not surprising when coupled with health and economic stressors caused by the pandemic, victims of domestic violence (DV) have been placed in an even more precarious position. Could someone near you be impacted by partner violence?
Since the start of the pandemic, front-line healthcare employees such as doctors, nurses, and paramedics, have experienced excessive stress and the highest level of depression and anxiety. Along with the rest of the general population, “pandemic fatigue” has exacerbated those in intimate partner violence. (Khan) Most victims of DV stay in the relationship for a various number of reasons such as “financial constraints, isolation, children, and fear.” (CAP) Since the pandemic, many of the reasons victims stay in a relationship only increased. Many within our community are suffering from anxiety, anger, confusion. Any of these triggers can exacerbate the social stresses and circumstances that we know lead to intimate partner violence.
Resources have become more readily available for those seeking mental health services. Those include helplines such as StrongHearts Native Helpline, National Parent Helpline, and The National Domestic Violence Hotline. Each of these hotlines have local resources such as shelter, food, mental health services that best fit that person’s needs. Other resources available for those include, creating a safety plan with someone you can trust.
If you know someone who could be in an abusive relationship, what can you do? Ultimately, know that the abused person is the one who can choose to stop the abuse, but you can be there to support them. Avoid blaming the victim or excusing the abusive behavior, show empathy towards those that are within the relationship. Step up and offer help such as finding shelter for the abused. For more information on up to date resources, contact any hotline below or visit the website.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-7233, 24/7
- National Sexual Assault Hotline, 1800-656-4673, 24.7
- StrongHearts Native Helpline 1-844-762-8483, Daily 7am-10pm CT
- National Parent Helpline 1-855-427-2736, Mon-Fri 12pm-9am CT
Bleiweis, Robin “Ensuring Domestic Violence Survivors’ Safety”, Center for American Progress. August 10, 2020
Khan, Kiran “The Mental Health Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic” July 9, 2020