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Domestic Violence When You Can't Leave HomeTips for navigating intimate partner violence during COVID-19.
From Psychology Today
By Dr. Tammy Schultz and Dr. Adam Dell
As COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe, the concept of social distancing has rapidly become a common practice for massive numbers of individuals.
However, home is not a safe place for everyone. Numerous studies have revealed that there is a relationship between natural disasters and increased rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) (Chew & Ramdas, 2005; Gearhart et al., 2018; Parkinson & Zara, 2013).
IPV is defined as “behaviour by an intimate partner or ex-partner that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm, including physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviours” (World Health Organization, 2017). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that approximately one in four women and one in ten men have experienced IPV by an intimate partner during their lifetime.
For some, the workplace environment was previously an opportunity for respite from controlling partners. However, the call for all individuals to engage in social distancing and the transition to working at home or unemployment have meant elevated medical concerns, 24/7 proximity, diminished community support, heightened levels of distress, and an increased vulnerability to IPV. Moreover, social distancing can be used by partners as a coercive controlling technique to impede opportunities for support and safety.
Individuals who are vulnerable to IPV are often overlooked when it comes to safety planning and coping with natural disasters and infectious disease pandemic, like COVID-19. Thus, here are some considerations:
Tips for Survivors of IPV
I write articles based on my experience as a therapist or a training or conference attendee. Many of these articles are written by others who are experts in their field and I share their information as resources for others.