Is domestic violence on the rise?

By now, we’ve all seen some of the unexpected side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact has hit industries all the way from brick-and-mortar businesses to telehealth doctor visits.

Another thing it may have done is to increase domestic violence rates. Forced close quarters, frustration, fear, and financial instability are a dangerous combination. Someone who was already prone to act violent would have trouble keeping their stress level under control.

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The Pandemic is Dangerous, But It Might Not Be Only the Virus

In a recent study published in the American Behavioral Scientist Journal, the danger of the virus isn’t the only thing to be concerned about. Intimate partner violence is on the rise because of things like forced isolation and worries about putting food on the table.

People are losing their jobs due to closing businesses and a depleting economy. Others feel the need to stay inside and quarantine for their own, and their family’s, safety.

No matter the reason, the fact is there were already millions of families dealing with money trouble. The pandemic took that number and made it exponentially worse.


Why Quarantine is Now a Social Health Problem

We know that the COVID-19 virus is a global public health issue. Now, it’s also a social problem.

Intimate partner violence was already worldwide. In fact, one-quarter of women and one-tenth of men experience domestic violence at some point. Nearly one in five murders are due to intimate partner violence.

These numbers have increased since the forced quarantine. It may have helped contain the spread of the virus, but the severity of violence skyrocketed.


Stress, Invisible Threats, and Violence

Stressors such as food shortages, health fears, and money woes tend to increase individual domestic violence. But with the entire world shut down and no answers on the visible horizon, this fear became a terror. And many people didn’t know how to emotionally handle it.

They had no outlet to handle the threat they felt, no specific place to point their fingers, and their partners took the brunt of their frustration.

Relationships deteriorated from partner depression and anger. Divorce and sex crime attorney industries were more in demand than ever.


Generational Impacts

Yet, the effects of this season of isolation are still at the tip of the iceberg. The consequences will be generational. We’ll see children of domestic violence relationships deal with their own demons as adults.

Economic struggles were already difficult enough for people in two working-adult households. So many homes were devastated by job loss and are now broken due to violence. This fallout will continue to affect our societies for decades, if not longer.

While the variants of the coronavirus keep evolving and wreaking havoc, the invisible fear remains. With no one to take out their frustrations on aside from their partner, angry, scared individuals will continue the domestic violence path unless they get help.

COVID-19 domestic violence is a social issue now. If you or someone you know is the victim or aggressor of an intimate partner violence relationship, there is help for you.

You’re not alone, but you do have to stop the cycle before it becomes a generational destroyer of the future members of your family.

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