When Staying Home Isn't Safe: Domestic Abuse On The Rise Due To Coronavirus
Corona virus versus fiction is sponsored by express. Vpn We've heard stories. Where survivors are saying. My relationship with emotionally abusive became physically abusive last night. We've heard stories from women whose partners were coming home and coughing on them and telling them that they were acting them with the coronavirus. That was Katie. Ray Jones the head of the national domestic violence hotline for most of us. Staying at home has been the safest way to protect ourselves from the krona virus but for others home can be a dangerous place worrying experts about what is happening behind closed doors. So what do we really know? And what can we do to help those? Who may be isolated and afraid? I'm Dr Sanjay Gupta. Cnn's chief medical correspondent and this is corona virus fact versus fiction in the past we've seen increases in domestic violence during times of crisis and stress. We've seen spikes in two thousand and eight during the Economic Crisis James Goggle. Yano is a former. Fbi agent and CNN's law enforcement analyst. He says this pandemic is putting victims in particularly vulnerable situation. We've seen spikes during national disasters like say Hurricane Katrina Hurricane. Sandy and we've also seen it during times of the Super Bowl major sporting events and look correlation doesn't always equal causation here. But there's a lot of factors at play in one of is. These victims are trapped in a cohabitation situation with the abuser. As stay at home orders went into effect in March. Several cities across the United States reported a steep increase in domestic violence calls as compared to last year. Cities like Seattle Portland and Boston have all reported increases in calls to hotlines or reports or arrests related to domestic violence in April Chicago. City officials told CNN the Illinois domestic violence hotline saw the highest daily call volume in. Its twenty year history. Meanwhile in other parts of the country calls to domestic abuse hotlines and reports to law enforcement have stayed flat or even declined experts. Worry that victim stuck at home with their abusers may not know how to get help one group that is working to assist victims of domestic. Violence is safe horizon based in New York City. They're one of the largest victim service organizations in the country. We work with victims of all crimes and abuse and that includes family. Violence Domestic Violence Child Abuse Sexual assault human trafficking elder abuse and we help people to heal and rebuild their lives areas weighing is the CEO of safe horizon. I started by asking her what she had been hearing for. People who need help during this pandemic when nobody's supposed to be out and about the choice to leave a situation or leave home is definitely complicated by concerns about getting. The virus others can include. Let's say the victim is someone? That had not been economically dependent on the Abuser. But now they've lost their job Maybe that's an economic dependence. That has now begun. Are there particular signs of an abusive situation? If that person doesn't seem to have the freedom to go where and when they want seems to have to account for every dollar or every place they go seems to be separated from loving relationships that used to be important to them in the relationship. You may experience all of those things and also threats and then of course every form of physical violence that people experience. But if someone is hurting you physically choking US spitting on you. You absolutely have a right to seek help into not expect that that behavior is normal. I imagine that the problem has worsened during this pandemic of both intimate partner. Violence Child Abuse. But I wonder do we know for sure I mean the because the reporting of this I imagine is is part of the challenge as well right. The story reporting is complicated in the first month of the stay at home orders. Here New York calls to our hotline. Were DOWN. That's for a couple of reasons. One people just prioritizing their Their health but another is an assumption. That help wasn't available and that is tragic because help is available. Are Hotline is functioning. The national domestic violence hotline is functioning. Police are responding to calls were able to provide a tremendous range of services. Virtually and as the word has gotten out about that our calls have increased child abuses a different because those reports come from teachers who are mandated reporters and doctors. Those reports are down by seventy five percent over. The prior period is heartbreaking and tragic because the abuse cannot be down by seventy five percent. It means that teachers that would normally see something and be concerned about. It are not able to see that over revolt learning. Let me ask you though. Short of opening up. Are there other things that can be done to to address this issue specifically with child abuse? We've done research over. The years about Bystanders to child abuse people who may suspect that there's something abusive happening in a family and overwhelmingly members of the public. Say I wouldn't want to report that because I might be wrong. What if I'm wrong and it's really none of my business and my response to that is what if you're not wrong. What if you're right and so I would say if anyone listening to this? Podcast has a nagging suspicion. That child is not being treated right in their home. Find out where in your state you can call it in it. Just strikes me from a pragmatic sense that it might be challenging. If you're in an apartment you know with people and you're you're trying to see cal. But you're worried about stigma even within your own living situation or privacy concerns. What do you recommend for someone who who says I want to get help but you know frankly? I got someone listening in the next room. Try and get on the call or seek help. I recommend chat can be much more private and there are many mental health services available over chat. A large part of what we do with victims of domestic. Violence is safety planning. What can that particular person? Due TO BE SAFER WITH. Sheltering at home that's become much more complicated because safety plans often would include something like I can spend the night at my mother's if I see certain signs of behavior that are worrisome. That sort of thing may not be option now but options. That can still work for this time. Might be a code word that your child does that. If I say a certain word the child should call nine one one. It might be something lake a neighbor when I put the shade in the bathroom Or put a plant in the window. The neighbor knows that you're in distress and to keep an ear out and to call the police as you pointed out it's about giving people help. Yes first and foremost if you imagine or think about what it might be like or what. It must be like to be a child or to be an adult trapped in a situation where you feel. Fear every minute of the day and you could help that person. Think of what that would mean victims of domestic abuse faced significant challenges leaving before the pandemic but wants people to know that organizations like safe horizon.