Experts worry that social distancing and stay-at-home-orders are exacerbating abuse.
Experts are convinced we are on the precipice of a domestic violence crisis.
Self-isolation forces victims of domestic violence and their children into uncomfortable and dangerous circumstances.
There Are Ways to Ensure your Safety
Technology is a powerful tool for someone leaving a domestic violence situation, and our hotline advocates can help you (whether you are a victim, friend or family member) plan to use all aspects of technology safely.
For more information and support, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.
As you surf the internet on your computer, the places you visit are stored on the computer you use. Bills you pay and purchases you make are tracked. Instant messages and emails can be retrieved. Keep in mind that as you use a computer, it might be monitored. Safe computers can be found at the local library, internet café, shelter, work or computer technology center. Always use safe computers when researching things such as travel plans, housing options, legal issues and safety plans.
Your abusive partner could have access to your email account. To be safe, open an email account your partner does not know about on a safe computer and use that account for safety planning and sensitive communications. It is a good idea to keep your monitored account active with non-critical emails in order to maintain appearances.
Cell phones can be a beacon, tracking your exact location in real time. Call and text history can also be retrieved by an abusive partner. Additionally, a location tracking device (GPS) can be placed on your car or in your purse. Consider purchasing a pay as you go phone that you keep in a safe place to allow you to make calls.
Only post things you want the public to see or know. Once it’s online, it’s no longer under your control. Be protective of your personal information. Your phone numbers and addresses enable people to contact you directly, and things like your birth date, the schools you attended, your employer and photos with landmarks may make it easier for someone to find where you live, hang out or go to school. Set boundaries and limits. Tell people not to post personal information, negative comments or check-ins about you on social media. Ask people not to post or tag pictures if you’re not comfortable with it.
Keep your passwords private – there is no need to share passwords to social media accounts with anyone. If you have a friend in an abusive relationship DO NOT post information about them without getting their permission. You could jeopardize their safety.
Isolation and financial stress can contribute to domestic violence. “The financial stress alone creates a ticking time bomb for some families with a history of domestic violence, ”Unfortunately many of these domestic violence cases occur in front of children and often the children become victims of abuse and assault, as well.”
The rise in reports of domestic violence incidents comes as shelters for abuse victims scramble to find ways to stay open. Many regularly operate near capacity and sometimes turn to local hotels to house families when they run out of space, which gets expensive quickly. Several nonprofit shelters said they’ve canceled or postponed fundraisers because of stay-at-home orders, making it difficult to help all that seek assistance. As Nyc domestic violence gear up for a potential increase in abuse victims seeking help money has become an issue. your support is needed.
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