Protecting domestic violence victims during quarantine

As the COVID-19 outbreak forces people to stay home with their partners, support groups are highlighting the risk of self-isolation for those experiencing domestic violence.

Self preservation during coronavirus

Many women across the country are bracing for their worst fear: being in confinement with an abusive person. Nearly 20 people per minute on average are physically abused by their partners in the U.S. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is urging survivors of domestic abuse to create a safety plan of staying with other loved ones or in a car, staying away from the abuser in certain parts of the household, and maintaining strong hygiene. If unable to leave, they recommend safely meeting basic needs and self care including getting enough sleep, maintaining exercise routines, eating regularly, and participating in solo activities that one enjoys like reading a book or meditating.

“Oftentimes, when we’re safety planning with survivors, we are talking about their ability to leave the home or flee the violence. Right now, we know that that ability to do so is incredibly limited. So we’re really talking through a lot of safety planning strategies that are involving, how are you going to stay safe in your home should an argument break out? Where is the safest place in your home to have an argument? Staying out of the bathroom or the kitchen, where things can be used as weapons, would be incredibly important during this time,” CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline Katie Ray-Jones shares with Brut.

Where to go?

Shelter-in-place measures for women experiencing domestic violence may not be as easy to access, as shelters for domestic abuse victims are trying to prevent their current occupants from getting exposed to coronavirus. However, organizations like the National Domestic Violence Hotline are trying to still provide life-saving tools and immediate support to survivors virtually and over the phone. The hotline 1-800-799-7233 is maintaining its services 24/7, while its advocates work from home. Survivors can also text LOVEIS to 22522 or log on to for help.