For Black Women Suffering Domestic Abuse, Coronavirus Quarantines Are Life Threatening

In The News

BY TAMARA Y. JEFFRIES

For many living in self-isolation, there’s still no peace of mind, body or spirit

Social isolation may be a drag for you, but for some sisters, it’s literally putting their lives in danger.

Domestic violence resource centers across the country are anticipating an uptick in intimate partner violence in the wake of COVID-19. Under ordinary circumstances, domestic violence is more prevalent among Black women than White, Latina or Asian women, according to statistics from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Four in 10 Black women experience physical abuse. We’re also more likely to experience psychological abuse such as humiliation, bullying, name-calling, coercion and control.

Now add the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, which has families under possible financial strain, living quarantined, in close quarters and in a stressful situation. It’s a formula that puts sisters at an even greater risk of physical, emotional or financial abuse. For example, if a woman’s work hours have been shortened or she loses her job because of COVID-19 closings, she may be more dependent on her partner for financial support for herself or her children. That may put her at the economic mercy of her abuser—and without the ability to collect the coins she needs to make an escape.

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