07.09.20

The Mounting Cost Of COVID Inaction: Domestic Violence

U.S. Infections – 2,982,900 | U.S. Deaths – 131,065

U.S. Unemployment – 11.1 percent | Since House Passed Heroes Act – 56 Days

What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior, including the threat or use of violence, fear, and intimidation, to establish power and control over another person.

Domestic Violence Fact

More than 12 million people in the United States experience violence by an intimate partner every year, with one in four women and one in nine men experiencing violence from their partners in their lifetimes.  Child abuse and domestic violence are often linked, and as many as 60 percent of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household.

What Is The Problem?

Isolation, social distancing, and job loss as a result of the pandemic has exacerbated conditions that contribute to domestic violence and child abuse.  This is compounded by budget cuts on the state and local level to programs meant to help those in crisis.  Victims of abuse no longer have the same access to the services, friends, and family they could typically turn to for help due to fear of spreading or catching the virus, and shelters across the country have restricted access or closed entirely in an effort to contain COVID-19.  Children are no longer around community members like teachers and coaches who would ordinarily be on the front lines of reporting suspected abuse.  As a result, calls to crisis centers have dramatically increased, hospitals are reporting a rise in severe injuries and death from child abuse, and the cost for providers of domestic violence services have gone up as they try to operate in a world where they cannot house as many survivors in group settings and need to shift the way they provide services to those in need. 

What Can We Do?

Senate Republicans need to abandon their “wait-and-see” approach and Congress must provide the resources needed to support those in crisis.  The House-passed Heroes Act provides new funding for federal programs like those administered by the Office on Violence Against Women and supports state and community based intervention programs that face local budget cuts. 

Where Can I Read More?

Domestic Violence Calls Mount as Restrictions Linger: ‘No One Can Leave’

When lockdown is not actually safer: Intimate partner violence during COVID-19

Link to PDF: https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/download/cv-domestic-violence

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