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Intimate Partner Violence During the Pandemic

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The pandemic changed the way people do things. Since everybody has limited mobility, technology has to step up for things to get done. Online transactions became the new normal. This includes groceries, food deliveries, and shopping for essentials. Other fields also made good use of technology. Some examples are the education sector, the medical field, and the finance industry.

Another field that transitioned to the online world is the legal service industry. Video depositions and real-time court reporting kept legal concerns rolling. It gave relief to people that justice is still in place, even in a turbulent time.

But, there are also some legal issues triggered and magnified by the pandemic. An example is the inability to keep housing arrangements. There are also many cases of abrupt termination of employment. Another legal issue that escalated during this pandemic is domestic violence. Others refer to it as intimate partner violence.

What Is IPV?

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a type of abuse that shows too much control over another person. The most common type and what people are most aware of is physical abuse. This is when a person inflicts physical pain over someone from the same household.

What people are unaware of is that violence or abuse is not limited to the physical aspect only. Any form of excessive control falls under IPV. An example of this is manipulating one’s emotions or verbal abuse. Limiting a person’s social connections also counts as abuse. Financial control makes it hard to leave the abusive situation. The victim fears they could not sustain their economic needs.

Domestic violence is not limited to romantic partners only. It could be between a parent and a child or any member of the household. What is tricky with this situation is that the victim will show a brave front. They could pretend that everything is normal. This reaction could be out of fear, shame, or trauma.

woman being domestically abused

How Has the Pandemic Magnified IPV?

The pandemic caused Intimate Partner Violence to be more prevalent. This is due to many factors. Any abusive relationship thrives in isolation. Lockdowns made isolation possible. The abuser can take more control of the victim when the latter has no physical means to leave. Limited social connections also made it harder to ask for help. Loved-ones also find it harder to spot that something is amiss.

Also, the pandemic caused stress levels to reach new heights. Tension about work and finances can take a toll on a person. When they cannot release it in a healthy way, they vent their frustrations on their household.

Alcohol use is another factor that contributes to domestic violence. Due to the pandemic, some people may resort to drinking to forget pressing matters. But, as they do, even their self-control and ability to think well are get affected.

How Can One Break Free from IPV?

Pandemic or none, what the victim should realize is that they do not deserve to be in such a situation. Breaking free from domestic violence starts with the conviction that it should end.

The first line of support for them should be their family and friends. A victim of domestic violence should find a trusted person or group of people to seek help. What is notable with these situations is that they cannot ask for help outright. The abuser can have a clue and hinder such appeals for help. It is essential, then, to develop a code that signals to others that one needs help. It could be a phrase in the case of calls or a hand signal during video calls.

Victims of IPV should also have access to authorities. Calling the police is a quick way for them to get out of a dangerous situation. But it may not be possible to get the abuser to be behind bars in an instance. These cases must pass through due process. The victim should not be afraid to seek legal help. Their abuser must face lawful consequences for what they have done.

The last step to break free from IPV is to allow restoration and healing. Mental health professionals can assist victims to deal with the trauma. Know that this situation is nothing to be ashamed of. There are support groups where victims of IPV share their journeys. Seeing others overcome this dark phase of their lives help a person deal with their hurts. Individual counseling is also beneficial.

The pandemic is still out there. The threat of new lockdowns is still looming. Even without strict lockdowns, social interactions are fewer compared to pre-pandemic days. Do not let these circumstances encourage an abuser to take control of you. Domestic violence should not be part of the new normal. People should not tolerate any acts of abuse.

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