COVID-19 has forced our lives to be different to usual. And it’s difficult and challenging for “everyone”. But for victims of Domestic Violence who now find themselves at home with their abusive partners for longer periods of time, due to the Social Isolation strategy being adopted, it is highly likely that the amount of abuse perpetrated will increase. Not in every case. But even in one case, of course, it is one case too many!
One of the principal tactics that an abuser makes use of, is Isolation. Isolating his partner from anyone who could potentially be of any type of support to his partner in relation to managing or coping with or even escaping from the abuse that he inflicts upon her. A call from heads of the City or State of New York City, such as Mayor de Blasio or Governor Cuomo, to practice Social Isolation, is a godsent gift for the abuser. Or should we say, … a devilsent gift?!
Now the abuser’s work in this “department”, in the “Isolation Tactic department”, is done for him! She is at home for the vast majority of the time. And even when she is talking with or face-timing family members or friends, he is right there, to monitor her every word. He can basically now say to her and do to her whatever he chooses with far less risk of her being able to get help. It’s a dream come true for him.
It’s a nightmare for her! A real-life nightmare with potentially dire, real-life consequences. What if he physically attacks her? Will her neighbor in the apartment to their right, who would previously have intervened by knocking on their door, still knock on their door? If her husband answered the door, there would be far less than six feet between him and the neighbor! Perhaps the neighbor will call the police. But what if they arrive too late? Or what if they do arrive in time, but because of Social Distancing, they don’t stay long?! Or what if, even if the neighbor intervenes and the police turn up? Imagine how furious her husband will be following that!!
VOW has created a Safety Planning document for those Living With An Abusive Partner. You can find it on VOW’s website by clicking here, on Facebook and twitter @VoicesofWomen.