Social isolation may be frustrating for most people who can’t engage in their normal routines, but for some people this could be the most dangerous time in their relationships.
There are Domestic Violence resources centers across the country that are anticipating an uptick in intimate partner violence during the COVID-19 times. This can also include psychological abuse such as humiliation, bulling, name-calling, coercion and controlling ways.
Families are already living with financial strain, living quarantined, in close quarters and in a stressful situation. This cocktail puts individuals at an even greater risk of physical, emotional or financial abuse.
Here are a few tips to consider in keeping yourself safe if you are in a domestic violence relationship:
Get outdoors- even while using “social distancing.”
Take a walk to get out of the house more than ever during this time. The more you’re home, the more opportunities there is for tension to rise up between you and your partner.
Shelter Emergency Plan
Have contact information for women’s domestic shelters, but also have a backup plan during the time of social distancing rules, where spaces may be limited. Perhaps a backup plan will be with a friend or a family member where your abuser cannot readily find you.
It may be a good idea to have a “getaway” bag with essential personal items and copies of important papers. Keep it hidden so that if your abuser is controlling, you will have the necessities you need to flee.
Gas in the Car
It will be a good idea especially during this time to keep the gas tank full, back in your parking place and keep your keys close by in case you need to make a quick escape in your car. If you don’t have a car, keep car services on speed dial and make sure car service apps are operational on your phone.
Make sure that a close friend knows your concerns and has an agreed upon distress signal that will let them know what action to take if needed.
If you have children, you want to consider having a plan that includes them. Depending on their age, they may need to know where to hide, where to run or how to call for help.
Please also consider calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit WomensLaw.org which also has legal information and helpful resources by state.
This is also the best time to make your mental health the priority so that you can keep your immune system strong. You need to be able to think clearly during tense times at home to keep yourself safe. Call Life Counseling Solutions at 407-622-1770 to get your mental health check-up and for other resources that will be helpful during this time.
Author: Janie Lacy