The idea of spending most of your time at home for several weeks during the coronavirus pandemic is enough to make you tired of everyone in your household. But if you live with someone who has exhibited abusive behaviour, staying home could be more uncomfortable for you”or downright dangerous.
Domestic violence support organisations are posting reminders about their hotlines and text support options, acknowledging that being isolated with an abuser can escalate an already tense situation.
Australia’s domestic violence helpline can be reached on 1800 RESPECT or 1800 737 732 and is available 24/7. You can also visit the website 1800 RESPECT, which will give you information for local support services. There are also a number of organisations in Australia such as ReachOut and White Ribbon that offer important resources.
#1800RESPECT is Australia's national support service for anyone impacted by #sexualassault, family and #domesticviolence. This video explains what you can expect when you contact our free, confidential service. https://t.co/NVAB0iNQxR
— 1800RESPECT (@1800RESPECT) March 19, 2020
Among the behaviours that people could experience during this time, according to the US’s National Domestic Violence Hotline:
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.
If you are supporting someone who has experienced #sexualassault and #domesticviolence, you don’t need to have all the answers. Sometimes supporting someone to explore what options are available to them is the best first step. To find out more: https://t.co/bcJlxNTsZX
— 1800RESPECT (@1800RESPECT) March 18, 2020
It can be difficult to recognise abusive behaviour, especially when you spend a lot of time with someone. Some warning signs to watch out for, per 1800 RESPECT:
- Tries to control you
- Pressures you
- Deliberately hurts you
- Expresses extreme jealousy
- Puts you down
- Threatens you