Coronavirus quarantine raises concerns about domestic violence

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) The coronavirus outbreak is causing an increase in domestic violence after people all around the country are forced to stay inside.

Domestic violence has spiked all around the world because people are stuck inside their homes and unable to leave, giving abusers more control.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violencee, 10 million people every year are physically abused by an intimate partner, and 20,000 calls are placed each day to domestic violence hotlines.

Experts have seen a spike in domestic violence because restaurants and business have closed their doors in light of the coronavirus, limiting where people can go for social interaction.

This has caused what's described as a perfect storm for domestic violence to occur.

Amy Stewart-Brown, Executive Director of the Family Justice Center, says the quarantine is creating a perfect storm for domestic abuse.

"When there are times of increased stress and isolation, which we will see with people doing self-quarentining, it's very likely we will see an increase in domestic violence," Stewart-Brown said. "Those factors really contribute so we have stress due to people out of work, kids home, and then we have concerns about personal health, community health. Then you take out those natural support systems, that can create this perfect storm for domestic violence."

"Just because this is a time of a public health crisis, it doesn't mean violence within your home is something you need to tolerate," Stewart-Brown said. "It's really important that you make your decisions of what you know to be the safest. When there is that safe moment to reach out, please do. There are many people who are prepared to help and make those conections even in this time of uncertainty."

Social distancing because of COVID-19 allows abusers to use more tactics to maintain control over victims but Amy says there are many local resources here to help.

"The Family Justice Center remains open all of the services are still available, just remotely to respect those public health guidelines," Stewart-Brown said. "We're able to provide that over the phone, whatever is safest to the client. Those services include safety, advocacy, an attorney, as well as other referrels to community based organizations."

To learn more about those resources, click here.