You can’t watch the news today without hearing updates about Covid-19 and how it is affecting our lives in more ways than just our chances of getting sick with it. Cases of domestic violence have increased with more families being confined together at home in extremely trying times. Health worries, job and income losses, home schooling, working from home, fear of how to pay bills and provide food, the list goes on and on. You may be dealing with one or all of these issues. The stress takes a toll on our emotions and when in close quarters that stress can come out as anger towards those nearest to us. Though women are the predominate victims of domestic violence, children are also at risk while confined at home with their abusers.
We are told it is important to stay home and be safe from Covid-19, but what do we do if home isn’t safe? You may feel your support system has been cut off, while emergency services, shelter systems, and social services are being overwhelmed by the pandemic.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline has highly trained expert advocates available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone who is experiencing domestic violence. You can call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) to speak with an advocate. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may use TTY 1-800-787-3224. Another option for getting direct help if it isn’t safe for you to call is to use their live chat service on their website https://www.thehotline.org/help/.
If possible, it is beneficial for both parties to seek couples counseling before the violence escalates further. If your partner is unwilling, you can still talk to a counselor that can help you understand what is happening to you and give you some guidelines on how to cope. In this time of social distancing Pinnacle Counseling is offering TeleHealth services. If you are needing help, please call 479-268-4142.