October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, also referred to as Intimate Partner Violence.
According to thehotline.org, domestic violence is defined as a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can consist of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, threats, intimidation, and economic denial. During the COVID-19 pandemic, victims can be impacted in unique ways.
Abusive partners may withhold necessary items, such as hand sanitizer or disinfectants.
Abusive partners may share misinformation about the pandemic to control or frighten survivors, or to prevent them from seeking appropriate medical attention if they have symptoms.
Abusive partners may withhold insurance cards, threaten to cancel insurance, or prevent survivors from seeking medical attention if they need it.
Programs that serve survivors may be significantly impacted –- shelters may be full or may even stop intakes altogether. Survivors may also fear entering shelter because of being in close quarters with groups of people.
Survivors who are older or have chronic heart or lung conditions may be at increased risk in public places where they would typically get support, like shelters, counseling centers, or courthouses.
Travel restrictions may impact a survivor’s escape or safety plan – it may not be safe for them to use public transportation or to fly.
An abusive partner may feel more justified and escalate their isolation tactics.
Learn more about domestic violence. Local resources include:
-Hope House — http://www.hopehouse.net Hotline: 816-461-HOPE (4673)
-Newhouse — https://www.newhouseshelter.org/ 24 Hour Hotline: 816-471-5800
-Rose Brooks Center – https://www.rosebrooks.org/ 816-861-6100
If you need immediate assistance and are located outside of the Greater Kansas City Area, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-(SAFE) (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.
IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, PLEASE CALL 911.