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Domestic Violence + COVID-19: What You May Not Realize

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

If home is your safe space, consider yourself lucky. For victims of domestic + sexual violence, quarantine is their worst nightmare a dream come true for abusers.

Advocacy groups show up to 300% increase in calls during quarantine. Crisis centers report a 50% rise in violent cases.

Leaving home is often the only escape for those in violent situations. Without that choice, they're in danger 24/7. Risk of victimization rises directly with lower financial wellbeing – a serious concern during Coronavirus shutdowns. Alcohol and drug use contribute to increased violence; both have risen as people staying home need not be sober for matters such as work and school. Mental health + past trauma can be factors for both survivors and perpetrators. Did you know boys who witness DV are twice as likely to abuse partners or children as adults – the same is true for girls but in the victim role?

Even if businesses begin reopening soon, stress levels will stay high, as people catch up on work, struggle financially, and readjust. Danger will not just disappear suddenly once most others begin enjoying privileges of freedom again. These people were in danger before lockdown, even more so during quarantine. The threat is not going away simply because life “goes back to normal” violence is their normal.

The Bystander Effect Illustration. Disproving the bystander effect: CCTV study finds people intervene in conflict more than expected. Atlas News.

Anyone can easily help interrupt the ideas that dismiss abusive behaviors. A huge issue in society is "victim-blaming." Abuse is always the offender’s fault. No excuses justify violence. Bystanders speaking up when others wave off abuse because the victim was “asking for it,” “had an attitude,” “dressed like that,” not only tells them their actions or words are not supported, but also shows survivors that they are supported and matter.

Knowing the warning signs of domestic, intimate partner, + sexual violence can make all the difference for those who cannot seek help for themselves. It is important to note abuse can be physical, emotional, mental, sexual, or economic. TIME, NPR, The New York Times, NBC, CNN, BCC, Fox News, + the United Nations all have reported on the extreme rise in DV/SV around the world since Coronavirus outbreak measures have gone into effect. Look out for red flags + indicators that could save lives.

I designed this comprehensive list to offer DV/SV hotlines in each American state + territory. If you try to contact a center but its line is busy or closed, the 24/7 National DV Hotline is 800-799-7233 (SAFE) / TTY 800-787-3224.

Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Alaska Network on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

American Samoa Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence

Arizona Coalition to End Sexual & Domestic Violence

Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence

California Partnership to End Domestic Violence

Colorado: Violence Free Colorado

Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence

Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence

Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Iowa: Children & Families of Iowa DV Hotline

Kansas Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence

Kentucky: Center for Women & Families

Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence

Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence

Massachusetts: Jane Doe Inc – Coalition Against Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence

Michigan Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence

Minnesota: Violence Free Minnesota (formerly MN Coalition for Battered Women)

Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Missouri Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence

Montana Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence

Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual & Domestic Violence

Nevada: Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada

New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence

New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence

New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence

New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

North Carolina: Compass Center for Women & Families

North Dakota: Abused Adult Resource Center

Northern Mariana Islands Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence

Ohio Domestic Violence Network

Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

Oregon Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Puerto Rico: Paz Para Las Mujeres

Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence

South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

South Dakota Network Against Family Violence & Sexual Assault

Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence

Texas: The Family Place

Utah Domestic Violence Coalition

Vermont Network Against Domestic & Sexual Violence

Virgin Islands: Women’s Coalition of St. Croix

Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance

Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

West Virginia Women’s Resource Center

Wisconsin: End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin

Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

Warning Signs of Domestic Abuse. By WebMD.

GLOBAL Resources for Outside of the U.S.:

Helping Someone After Rape or Sexual Assault:

Comprehensive Women's Guide to Cyber Safety in 2022:

Financial Abuse and How to Identify:

Rebuilding Your Finances After Financial Abuse:

Financial Literacy Guide for Women

“She Said." This true story-based song was created to empower and resonate with survivors of sexual violence. Artists have teamed up with Zoe Healing Center of Oklahoma City & Center for Violence Prevention in Jackson, MS, to donate 20% of all relevant proceeds to these organizations, in their efforts to help survivors find help, hope, and peace. By Alex Carr of NVision.

Impact of Economic Stress on Domestic Violence. By Claire Renzetti and Vivian Larkin.

Why Do People Blame the Victim? By David B. Feldman, Ph.D.

Safety Planning When Confined With Abuser, by Maryland Network ADV:

Lethality Assessment

General Statistics + Facts Sheets

Increase in Domestic Violence Feared During Virus Lockdown. By Ina Fried for Axios.

Loads of additional information + resources:

Hannah Jacole


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