By Daisy Wigg
"For those experiencing domestic abuse, doing daily tasks provides some relief[...]But with none of these safe havens available, victims are forced to spend 24 hours a day trapped inside volatile and controlling environments."
Domestic abuse is a crime that often remains hidden in the privacy of the home, only surfacing when the victim finds refuge and escapes the hold of the abuser. However, because of the coronavirus lockdown when no one was allowed to leave their home or have the freedom of the outside, domestic abuse has become an even more isolating and intense issue.
There have been many consequences of coronavirus: unemployment, school closures, an increase in loneliness, and mental health issues. Further, the worldwide increase in domestic abuse has been described as a “shadow pandemic” by the UN. The UK alone has seen a 20% increase in domestic abuse reports during its lockdown.
In an April 2020 survey conducted by Women’s Aid, over two-thirds of survivors said that domestic abuse was escalating under lockdown and 72% said their abuser had more control over their life since Covid-19.
For those experiencing domestic abuse, going to school, to work, to the supermarket and doing other daily tasks provide some relief from the violence and emotional pain inflicted upon them by abusers. But with none of these safe havens available, victims are forced to spend 24 hours a day trapped inside volatile and controlling environments.
In another report conducted by Women’s Aid, one victim told them, “I am reliant upon my abuser to get food and medication as I am shielding for 12 weeks. This is being used against me.”