COD

Domestic abuse can grow during quarantines

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Not all family time is going to go well.

As we socially distance and relearn how to spend time with our families, I have seen many posts about the trials of home-schooling, the joys of board games and crafts, and the challenges of Zoom meetings with children squealing in the background. While adjusting to our new normal undoubtedly has a steep learning curve for many of us, it can be perilous, even deadly, for those living in abusive relationships.

For thousands of people whose only escape had been while they and/or their partner was away at work during the day, that reprieve has been stolen from them. Imagine now being faced with your abuser 24/7. Imagine as the weeks pass how that abuser will likely grow increasingly agitated and how that will create a target.

Now imagine that you are the friend or family member of such a victim, because given the statistics, you probably are. More than ever it is crucial that we check in on each other, especially if there is anyone whose partner you “got a bad feeling about” or “gave you bad vibes.” Trust your instincts and remember that we are all in this together. A quick call, text, or FaceTtime to let someone know you are there for them can make a world of difference.

Warning signs of abuse include:

Being extremely jealous and/or possessive; verbally abusive; outdated beliefs about gender roles; controlling the finances; accusing the victim of flirting or cheating; controlling the victim (clothing, behavior, etc.); demeaning, embarrassing the victim.

For anonymous, confidential help 24/7: National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

Randi Taggart.

Richmond.

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