Social distancing may put domestic violence victims at greater risk

Social distancing may put domestic violence victims at greater risk
Posted at 2:24 PM, Mar 23, 2020

Calls are growing for more Americans to practice social distancing, but some may not feel safe in their own home.

When survivors of domestic violence are forced to stay in close proximity to their abusers, they can be at a greater risk.

Experts worry abusers will take advantage of the situation to gain more control over their victims.

If children are at home, abusers may use them as an excuse for escalation. There could also be an added financial strain in the home.

“If you're working in a service industry job, if your income is the one that was supporting the household and now you don't have that income, that's also going to add to the stress level in the house," said Janice Miller, Director of Programs and Clinical Services, House of Ruth Maryland.

Having a personal safety plan is recommended for survivors. The House of Ruth says most of the plan for in the home stays the same.

Victims should use the knowledge they have about their abusers that has kept them safe thus far. That may include staying out of rooms where you know weapons are kept, and having an escape bag ready if needed.

Where victims’ plans may need to change is where they’ll turn if they need to get out, some places in the community may no longer be open.

If it's safe for victims to make a call, they can check with their local hot-lines to see what resources are still be available. Click here to learn more.