COVID-19 and Domestic abuse

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COVID-19 and Domestic abuse

Just like many people I am worried about this Corona virus. I know that personally, I would probably be OK if I caught it, but I worry for my little girl and friends around me. I worry that if we go into lockdown, that I have food and yes…even toilet roll. I worry that I have basic meds like Calpol in the house and what I will do if the electric goes. I guess these are the same worries as many people.

One of my main worries is that if I do get sick that I don’t have lots of people around to help. But I’m sure we will soldier on. I also think that (As long as no one is unwell) That I would relish a few weeks home with my little family. I have it all planned …. study…. decorating…cleaning…. quality time with the kids. I’m sure that novelty would wear off very quickly…however …. it’s not all doom and gloom if we go into lock down.

However,…. if this virus had come into force a few years ago and I knew that we may be spending weeks in the house with little contact with the outside world…well…right now I would be in panic mode.

I’m sitting here now, trying to imagine what I would be feeling and thinking if I was still in an abusive relationship, and even though it’s just thoughts, I almost feel overwhelmed with all these thoughts when I let my mind work like that. So, hypothetically, I wonder what it would be like for a woman who had to go into self-isolation in a household with a perpetrator of D.V. (Of course, men can also suffer D.V. but today I would like to talk about women)

I would imagine he will get bored. He will take it out on the family. Her initially, but then the kids. She would get the brunt of his boredom. Insults, digs, moaning about everything she does. But this would soon transfer to the children one way or another. He would wind him self up. Comment about the house not being good enough. Maybe a few comments about how she looks.

He would likely demand sex in some cases. He would almost see it as his right to have sex when ever he wanted because they are locked up. He would use it against her if I said no. And whereas usually she would be able to get out and away from him, or, more likely he would go off somewhere, they would both be trapped. He would expect them to sneak up stairs during the day. Purely because of his own boredom and such. She might no. Rows would start. He would make it very uncomfortable for them all and she would know, and he would know that the easiest way to stop that would be sex. So, this leaves her in a situation…. because she doesn’t want sex…. he knows that…but…. he has sex with her anyway. Knowing she doesn’t want to and…. also knowing the only reason, she is because of the pressure he has put on her. He knows. (Its rape by the way. Just because you live in a house with her and its “domestic” …. having sex with someone who you know doesn’t want to …. even though they can’t say no because of your reaction…is still rape)

He would be unable to feed his addiction. What he would do is he would stockpile on weed …alcohol …whatever his poison is and would justify spending excessive amounts of money on it (even if they can’t afford it) to “Get him through”. And then on about day 2 he would start binging. He would get up and have nothing constructive to do so would start smoking or drinking early and then just continue. I don’t know what is worse…. living with an addict who is always stoned…or living with an addict who can’t get no drugs. Either way…she would be to blame.

There would be rows. Massive, ear splitting, terrifying rows. And no one would come to help. Even on a normal non-lock down day, people don’t always call the police when they hear a “Domestic” (I hate that term more than anyone will ever know. If he treated me the way he did and I didn’t know him it would be classed as a criminal act, but because the prick won’t move out of my house its “Domestic”). Anyway, during lockdown the services will be stretched so even if someone did call the police due to the screams and such…the police won’t be coming. She knows that. But more importantly…he knows that.

He might make some of the space in the house a no-go zone for everyone else. He could take over the living room and kitchen. They would all be stuck in together and he would start limiting space. Make it uncomfortable to be there. Laying in the sofa all day watching space documentaries and then telling everyone how clever he is because he can parrot back what he just watched…and if anyone tries to challenge him on that……He will just scream louder than everyone else in the house…. Just more control…. or something like that. Hypothetically.

She would become even more isolated than ever, I mean, anyone suffering domestic abuse feels isolated and alone, but now there is no chance of anyone checking in and seeing if all is ok. One reason would be that people may not know they need to check in. She has been hiding it so well for so long that no one thinks to see if all is well. In fact, maybe this lock down is a good thing. Its even harder when people turn up mid “Row” and you have to tell them that you don’t want to see their new puppy because …err….everyone is sleeping (When in fact no one is sleeping, and he has just told you to get Anne away from the door….Now…or something like that)

And the kids no longer have the saving grace of school. The one place they can go and get some quiet. Be normal. Not have to be shouted at or listen to mum being called a slag. School for many children is the only break they also get from witnessing the abuse of a parent or even their own abuse.

This virus is going to have an impact on people in the country in so many ways. Don’t even get me started on CSE. But just now, as I was planning how many meals I could make with Smash if I had to, and then I smiled to myself because my mum always joked I could live on that as a kid, I also gave a silent nod to all the people that will suffer at the hands of a perpetrator as the virus does the hard part for them…total isolation.

Me, I count my blessings that if we do have to stay home, that my house is a safe place not just for me but for all that I allow to enter. The shelves may be empty, and people may be running around like the end of the world panic buying…but a safe home…. that’s priceless. So, let’s be vigilant and mindful to those who may not have such a luxury.

If you need help and support with Domestic abuse or know someone who might, please see the links below:

Women’s Aid

Citizens advice

Victim Support

Family lives

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