Updated: Apr 21, 2020
United Nation experts are calling it the shadow pandemic. Unfortunately while the number of cases rise of individuals that test positive for the corona virus, the number of Domestic Violence cases is rising as well. Statistics that were released by the United Nations reports that in France the reports had increased by 30% since lock down, in Spain it went up 18%, Singapore help lines received 18% more calls, and the U.S. has seen cases rise up to 35%.
We have pulled some useful tips together for if you are experience domestic violence, or if you know someone that may be experiencing domestic violence and how you can help them. Please note that these tips our for anyone even if you do not have children in your home.
Tips if you are experiencing domestic violence in your own home:
Identify your partner’s use and level of force so that you can assess the risk of physical danger to you and your children before it occurs.
Identify safe areas of the house where there are no weapons and there are ways to escape. If arguments occur, try to move to those areas.
Don’t run to where the children are, as your partner may hurt them as well.
If violence is unavoidable, make yourself a small target. Dive into a corner and curl up into a ball with your face protected and arms around each side of your head, fingers entwined.
If possible, have a phone accessible at all times and know what numbers to call for help. Know where the nearest public phone is located. Know the phone number to your local shelter. If your life is in danger, call the police.
Let trusted friends and neighbors know of your situation and develop a plan and visual signal for when you need help.
Teach your children how to get help. Instruct them not to get involved in the violence between you and your partner. Plan a code word to signal to them that they should get help or leave the house
Tell your children that violence is never right, even when someone they love is being violent. Tell them that neither you, nor they, are at fault or are the cause of the violence, and that when anyone is being violent, it is important to stay safe.
Practice how to get out safely. Practice with your children.
Plan for what you will do if your children tells your partner of your plan or if your partner otherwise finds out about your plan.
Keep weapons like guns and knives locked away and as inaccessible as possible.
Make a habit of backing the car into the driveway and keeping it fueled. Keep the driver’s door unlocked and others locked — for a quick escape.
Try not to wear scarves or long jewelry that could be used to strangle you.
Create several plausible reasons for leaving the house at different times of the day or night.
How you can help someone else:
Share Resources and helplines
Check on your friends and neighbors – you never know what is going on behind closed doors. Checking on friends and neighbors gives them the opportunity to open up if they are ready.
Talk about Domestic abuse- discussing it in a compassionate way creates a safe culture for victims to disclose abuse.
Contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline if you are worried about someone
Donate to Domestic Violence Charities
Donate to Charities through your online shopping.
Many nonprofits that support victims of domestic violence have made adjustments to protect victims and staff. Many have moved to video conferencing and phone calls to be able to provide support.
To get help you can reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Advocates are available 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE(7233) in more than 200 languages. All are free or confidential.
You can go to thehotline.org/help and chat with an advocate as well.
Check out these tips on the Happ News app. Download the app and look for Voices of Hope!!