“As self-isolation expands, domestic violence victims at heightened risk.”
Just like coronavirus, domestic violence is an insidious, invisible scourge; one that is killing and infecting members of our society on a daily basis.
It’s a ‘social and cultural virus’ that is taking the lives of men, women and children — and in particular, one woman every week.
While victims of Covid19 and those at risk can seek solace in their homes, victims of domestic violence cannot. Because right now, the risk of fatality is greater within their own four walls than in public.
As a survivor of domestic violence who now mentors many other DV survivors, as well as the founder of Brisbane’s first Domestic Violence Memorial, I am worried about how greatly DV will spike over the weeks and months to come as more people are forced into isolation.
What will happen to the victims whose abusive partners are forced to work from home, giving them no reprieve from daily terror?
How many abusers will take advantage of their partner’s loss of income or work, using it as another way to increase control?
What happens when victims who have been planning their escape — and require national or international travel to do so — are grounded; forced to stay inside and unable to get to family or friends who could provide safety?
For victims of domestic violence, home is often not a refuge.