Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Domestic Violence

Every year, thousands of people are victims of domestic violence. They live in circumstances where they experience fear for their health and safety, they are belittled and their self-esteem is crushed, they are hit or abused in every imaginable way, and many are forced to endure this way of life in silence. Add to that distressing mix a new disease for which there is no vaccine or cure and which forces people to quarantine at home, and the situation becomes even more dire.

What are the classic signs and symptoms of domestic violence?

Abuse takes place when someone in a relationship tries to dominate and control the other person. Generally, the control starts with psychological or emotional abuse, then intensifies to physical abuse. When domestic abuse includes physical violence, it’s termed domestic violence.

People experiencing the effects of domestic violence may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms, among many others:

  • Withdrawal from other family members and friends
  • Loss of interest in participating in usual activities
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sudden and unexplained loss of self-confidence
  • Unusual fears
  • Changes in sleep habits

If domestic abuse includes violence, victims may show:

  • Bruises on the neck and arms
  • Black eyes
  • Busted lips
  • Purple marks in many parts of the body
  • Sprained wrists
  • Broken ribs
  • Broken bones

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted domestic violence?

Reports of the increase of domestic violence due to conditions brought about by the pandemic can be found daily in the news. Although inexcusable, the situation that has originated by the need to stay at home during the pandemic can be explained by a wide variety of factors. Many people have lost their jobs or been furloughed, the income coming into the household has, in many instances, totally dried up, many others have fallen victims to the disease and might have lost their lives, the future appears completely uncertain, and the level of anxiety has dramatically increased when people are forced to share extremely close quarters with no end in sight.

Those who are victims of domestic violence and abuse under other circumstances can no longer have even five minutes to be alone, to escape whoever is causing them harm. They are unable to leave the house, communicate with others to ask for help, or take any other actions to get themselves to a safe place because the party that is causing them harm is always around, keeping a close eye on them.

As if this situation was not worrisome on its own, the other side of the coin shows an insufficient availability of shelters, social, legal, and health service providers, legal aid offices, rape and violence crisis centers, childcare centers, and healthcare facilities that can adequately address this unpardonable situation.

Have you been the victim of domestic violence due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Both elected officials and the general public have been made aware of this critical situation. And if the pandemic continues, as it is predicted to do, the situation will only increase. Repairing those relationships and adequately protecting the victims will require an overhaul of current systems both in the public and private sectors.

If you have suffered domestic violence due to the pandemic or even before it, get legal help now. Visit and get an experienced, aggressive attorney to help fight your case.