On March 20, 2020, Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a statewide shelter-in-place order. The order was intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe in their own homes. Although the order may have saved lives and helped Illinois flatten the curve, for others, the news was not good. These are the individuals that are victims of domestic violence. For many of these victims, the only relief they had from the threat of abuse prior to the pandemic was when they went to work, or when their abuser did. It was not long before Chicago, and many other areas, saw an increase in domestic violence. Below are a few of the factors that place victims at greater risk during the pandemic.
The Feeling of Isolation
Abusers typically want to isolate their victim from their workplace, friends, and family members. Through this isolation, the abuser can use gaslighting techniques on their victims and are more easily able to control them. With social isolation mandated by the government, it became easier to isolate victims of domestic violence, which can trigger future incidents.
The novel coronavirus brought an unknown threat to Illinois and the rest of the United States. The unknown is extremely stressful, particularly when people are unsure of how the virus spreads, how to contain it, and how to protect loved ones. When abusers become stressed, they commonly take it out on their victims, particularly when each person is forced to remain in the same household....