There has been a lot of coverage about how families can get on each other's nerves during lockdown, but statistics point to a potentially disastrous situation for victims of domestic abuse as they are forced to spend time in close quarters with their abusers.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres said Sunday night there has been a "horrifying global surge in domestic violence" as fear of the coronavirus soars, according to ABC. The U.N. chief made a universal appeal to end all violence.
"For many woman and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest — in their own homes," Gutteres said. "And so, I make an appeal today for peace at home — and in homes — around the world."
The Australian government reported a whopping 75% increase in online searches for support on domestic violence, and a French minister said domestic violence rose 32% across France and 36% in Paris in one week, says ABC.
According to the Independent, reports from China indicate domestic abuse tripled as victims were locked in, unable to reach safety. In Italy, an Italian medical student was allegedly strangled to death by her boyfriend because he thought she had given him the coronavirus. Migrant workers who are victims of domestic abuse in the U.K. are being blocked from shelters and deterred from accessing healthcare services. So far in the U.K., nine women and children have died in a number of killings, says the Independent.
The Baltimore Sun reports domestic violence calls increased by 25% this March over calls received in March last year. The domestic violence calls increased directly as the coronavirus pandemic exploded, says the Sun.
"I think it's pretty safe to say that not everybody in this country has a safe and happy home to quarantine to," says Sgt. Jacklyn Davis, a spokesperson for the Anne Arundel police department in Maryland. "It's definitely a very scary time for a lot of people just with the sickness, but if you are quarantined with an abuser, it makes it absolutely unfair."
Across the country, at least one in four women and one in seven men experience physical violence by their intimate partner at some point in their lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the Sun. Those seeking help should call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or the Rape and Incest National Network (RAINN) National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673.
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