Megan Divine

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Domestic violence victims are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Home is not a safe place for everyone. Abuse thrives in silence and isolation. Isolation exacerbates the types of violence and abuse that victims experience. The coronavirus pandemic presents a perfect opportunity for abusers to exercise increased levels of coercive control. This includes not only physical abuse, but also emotional, financial, and psychological abuse. Survivors too, are impacted by many of these concerns. Limited finances and decreased access to housing, support, and affordable childcare increases the potential for survivors to return to their abusers. Many have considered the coronavirus crisis a “ticking time bomb” or a “perfect storm.” One of the primary challenges governments and communities face is keeping people safe not only from the virus, but also from abusers. The first step is recognizing that we are amidst not one, but two, pandemics.