Whether it’s been months or weeks, entire populations around the world have been forced into quarantine in a bid to save lives and keep people safe. While for some, quarantine has turned into an opportunity to pause, reflect and spend precious moments with their family; for many, isolation is causing extra stress and anxiety. And for those living with an abusive partner, isolation can feel like imprisonment.
It is estimated that 37 per cent of women in Arab countries have experienced domestic violence, while 1.6 million women in the UK have been victims of abuse in the last year alone. Fears around global uncertainty and financial insecurity are likely to cause even more conflicts.
In China and Europe, charities have noticed a surge in rates of abuse, and France already counts two murders since the lockdown, which began on March 17.
Trapped indoors with an abusive partner and don’t know how to stay safe? Wherever you live, we round up five ways to help you.
Keep your mobile phone on you at all times
Always make sure you can contact anyone if necessary.
Contact charity helplines
Many charities are currently receiving calls, providing shelters and legal aid. Special Covid-19 measures are currently put in place—charities should provide the best support.
Avoid unsafe rooms
Avoid stairs, the bathroom and kitchen as much as possible.
Get in touch with neighbours or friends
Create a WhatsApp support chat group with your neighbours and friends and text them if you’re afraid of being overheard on the phone. They could call the police for you.
Pack and hide an emergency bag
If you’re thinking of leaving, pack a bag with medication, identification and money and keep it somewhere safe.
Know your rights
Your partner might be using finances or your immigration status against you. Special welfare benefits, grants and legal advice on immigration are currently available.