In a typical year, 243 million women and girls experience intimate partner violence. Amid the pandemic, calls to helplines increased as much as 5 times. Since 2020, domestic violence has spiked. Namely, Jefferson County, Alabama experienced a 27% increase in domestic violence calls, and Portland, Oregon experienced a 22% increase in domestic violence arrests. Marginalized groups were the hardest hit by increasing rates of abuse; minorities experienced a 50% increase in abuse.
What caused this uptick in abuse? Following the pandemic, three major reasons impacted abuse: increased stressors, increased opportunity, and fewer safeguards. The pandemic exacerbated concerns about security and health, contributed to financial insecurity, and left many in cramped living conditions amid lockdown. In addition to higher levels of stress, isolation at home, restricted movement due to lockdown, and deserted public spaces created many opportunities for abusers to go unnoticed.
Nearly half of domestic violence incidents go unreported. A few reasons include social pressure, effects of abuse, and dependence on a partner. Many victims feel pressured by family and friends or fear they won’t be believed by others. Many victims of abuse are dependent on their partner for financial support, immigration status, or are raising children with their abusers. Knowing your local resources and getting educated can help stop domestic violence. Vine offers services for victims of abuse.