Domestic Violence In the Time of COVID-19

For too many, being stuck at home is more than an annoyance. It is a danger. We are all feeling a lack of control in our lives, but a person who cannot manage that will take it out on their victim. In these times of great stress combined with being isolated at home, we will see a spike in physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.

If you are feeling trapped in your home with your abuser, and isolated from the people and resources that can help, please know that there is help for you.

Johnson/Turner Legal knows the best, fastest and safest routes to providing emergency relief for people in abusive situations. While the court has partially closed for non-emergency matters, our legal team and the courts are immediately available to keep people safe from abusive partners.

“[I]n this particular time, with COVID-19, home can be pretty intense for domestic violence victims and survivors, due to the abusers’ ability to further control,” explained Ruth Glenn, the president and CEO of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).

With the misinformation about COVID-19, Glenn has explained that abusers can use that misinformation to control the abused. “‘You can’t go out the front door’ — they may have said it before, but didn’t have a reason for the person to not go out the front door. ‘COVID’s out there! COVID’s out there!’ the abuser may now say,” Glenn said. “The abuser may have many sundry ways they can employ new tactics or enhance other tactics, controlling movement, really not allowing them to have access to a phone or computer, the list can go on and on.”

Domestic violence takes many forms. Below are some examples of how domestic violence takes shape.

You may be experiencing Physical Abuse if your partner has done or repeatedly does any of the following tactics:

  • Pulling your hair, punching, slapping, kicking, biting or choking you
  • Forbidding you from eating or sleeping
  • Hurting you with weapons
  • Preventing you from calling the police or seeking medical attention
  • Harming your children
  • Abandoning you in unfamiliar places
  • Driving recklessly or dangerously when you are in the car with them
  • Forcing you to use drugs or alcohol (especially if you’ve had a substance abuse problem in the past)

You may be experiencing Emotional Abuse if your partner has done or repeatedly does any of the following tactics:

  • Calling you names, insulting you or continually criticizing you
  • Refusing to trust you and acting jealous or possessive
  • Trying to isolate you from family or friends
  • Monitoring where you go, who you call and who you spend time with
  • Demanding to know where you are every minute
  • Trapping you in your home or preventing you from leaving
  • Using weapons to threaten to hurt you
  • Punishing you by withholding affection
  • Threatening to hurt you, the children, your family or your pets
  • Damaging your property when they’re angry (throwing objects, punching walls, kicking doors, etc.)
  • Humiliating you in any way
  • Blaming you for the abuse
  • Gaslighting
  • Accusing you of cheating and being often jealous of your outside relationships
  • Serially cheating on you and then blaming you for his or her behavior
  • Cheating on you intentionally to hurt you and then threatening to cheat again
  • Cheating to prove that they are more desired, worthy, etc. than you are
  • Attempting to control your appearance: what you wear, how much/little makeup you wear, etc.
  • Telling you that you will never find anyone better, or that you are lucky to be with a person like them

You may be experiencing Sexual Abuse if your partner has done or repeatedly does any of the following tactics:

  • Forcing you to dress in a sexual way
  • Insulting you in sexual ways or calls you sexual names
  • Forcing or manipulating you into to having sex or performing sexual acts
  • Holding you down during sex
  • Demanding sex when you’re sick, tired or after hurting you
  • Hurting you with weapons or objects during sex
  • Involving other people in sexual activities with you against your will
  • Ignoring your feelings regarding sex
  • Forcing you to watch pornography
  • Purposefully trying to pass on a sexually transmitted disease to you

You may be experiencing Financial Abuse if your partner has done or repeatedly does any of the following tactics:

  • Giving an allowance and closely watching how you spend it or demanding receipts for purchases
  • Placing your paycheck in their bank account and denying you access to it
  • Preventing you from viewing or having access to bank accounts
  • Forbidding you to work or limiting the hours that you can work
  • Maxing out credit cards in your name without permission or not paying the bills on credit cards, which could ruin your credit score
  • Stealing money from you or your family and friends
  • Using funds from children’s savings accounts without your permission
  • Living in your home but refusing to work or contribute to the household
  • Making you give them your tax returns or confiscating joint tax returns
  • Refusing to give you money to pay for necessities/shared expenses like food, clothing, transportation, or medical care and medicine

You may be experiencing Digital Abuse if your partner has done or repeatedly does any of the following tactics:

  • Tells you who you can or can’t be friends with on Facebook and other sites.
  • Sends you negative, insulting or even threatening emails, Facebook messages, tweets, DMs or other messages online.
  • Uses sites like Facebook, Twitter, foursquare and others to keep constant tabs on you.
  • Puts you down in their status updates.
  • Sends you unwanted, explicit pictures and demands you send some in return.
  • Pressures you to send explicit videos.
  • Steals or insists on being given your passwords.
  • Constantly texts you and makes you feel like you can’t be separated from your phone for fear that you will be punished.
  • Looks through your phone frequently, checks up on your pictures, texts and outgoing calls.
  • Tags you unkindly in pictures on Instagram, Tumblr, etc.
  • Uses any kind of technology (such spyware or GPS in a car or on a phone) to monitor you

If you see yourself or a loved one in any of these situations, please use your resources.

  • If you are in immediate, danger – Call 911
  • Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
  • Learn more at: thehotline.org

Call us today at 651-371-9117.

Power and control wheel

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