Abuse is about power and control. During a national health emergency like the spread of COVID-19, when people are staying home more often, those experiencing domestic violence means they cannot escape their abuser.
“So the victim is further isolated in that relationship and that can certainly increase the risk of abuse and potentially violence.”
That’s Patti Haist from the YWCA of West Central Michigan. She says an abuser could use the current crisis to threaten a victim by withholding necessary items like hand sanitizers, or threatening to throw someone out on the street so they get sick.
“Essentially confined into their living situation together that could be a recipe for a situation that could go bad.”
Haist says the YWCA is working hard to ensure help is there if and when a person needs and `reminds community members to check up on each other during this time. If you are a victim a of domestic violence you can call the YWCA Domestic Violence Hotline at 616-454-9922 to speak confidentially with a trained advocate.
Im Michelle Jokisch Polo.