How many of us can honestly say that when we first heard about the coronavirus, that we didn’t really think too much of it, that we thought it won’t happen to me or that we thought it wasn’t that bad?
It is already isolating us from friends and family, stopping us from celebrating Mother’s Day, it’s taking away our jobs, it’s taking away our children’s’ education. It’s taking away the normality of life.
It’s changing the way we shop, eat, socialise and sleep. It’s affecting our mental health, it’s having an impact on our relationships an it’s controlling our lives. It knows no boundaries, it’s affecting men, women, children, the young and old.
It is a pandemic.
I started taking the coronavirus seriously when I heard the word isolation. To be honest it filled me with fear.
1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience domestic abuse at some point during their lifetime. I was in an abusive relationship and isolation took me away from my support network, it manipulated and moulded me into a person my ex-partner could abuse with ease. That is why the word filled me with fear.
The pandemic that is the coronavirus will fuel the epidemic that is domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse is about control and with thanks to the coronavirus we will see a spike in domestic abuse.
For many people, home isn’t a safe place and as we are being encouraged to go on lockdown, potentially we are saving lives from the coronavirus but are we doing enough to keep people safe from domestic abuse?
Common features in an abusive relationship includes isolation and financial abuse and during this pandemic it will increase the abusers ability to restrict movements further, leaving victims at a heightened risk.
Abusers thrive on power and control, doing all they can to gain that power and control and they wouldn’t think twice about using the coronavirus to their advantage.
Walking on eggshells will now be even harder with victims being fearful to cough or sneeze in fear that their abuser will kick them out for showing symptoms. Or on the flipside to that an abuser would psychologically abuse their victim by coughing and telling them that they have the virus,
For people who are experiencing domestic abuse covid-19 has trapped them in their homes with their abuser, isolated from the people that could help them.
As this pandemic sweeps the nation it is absolutely vital that those who are experiencing domestic abuse know there is support available to them during this difficult and dangerous time. Don’t let the coronavirus put you off from calling the Police if you need to or to reach out to the support that is available.