This Shelter Is Helping People in Lockdown Escape Domestic Violence

Some survivors, though, can't reach out for help "due to their abusive partner monitoring their behaviors while they are in isolation.”

NEW YORK -- Shelter-in-place orders are keeping COVID-19 infections down, but there's a dangerous side effect: In many parts of the world, reported cases of intimate-partner violence are on the rise, and victims may be unable to seek help.

France has set up access points for victims to report incidents at pharmacies and grocery stores. In the U.S., the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s call, chat and text volume remains in the range of 1,800-2,000 per day, but that doesn't it’s not happening more.

Advertisement

“While we don't necessarily expect to see healthy relationships becoming abusive, our experience informs us that in homes where abuse is already occurring, and there is a negative financial impact or added stress in the home, we typically see a higher frequency of incidents of abuse and increased severity of abuse,” said Katie Ray-Jones, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and loveisrespect.

As survivors spend more time in close proximity to their abusers, there may be less opportunity to safely call or message for help.

We are especially concerned that survivors will be unable to reach out for help due to their abusive partner monitoring the behaviors while they are in isolation.”

One organization working to accommodate survivors during the pandemic is Good Shepherd Services’ Safe Homes Project, which runs a 20-bed residence emergency shelter at an undisclosed location in Brooklyn.

Right now the shelter is full, and there have been no COVID-19 cases among residents. VICE News goes inside the shelter to see how they are adapting.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline takes calls 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or 1-800-799-7233 for TTY. If you cannot speak safely, you can log on to thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.

Cover: A stock image of a woman showing signs of depression. (Press Association via AP Images)