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Domestic violence on rise amid pandemic, experts say

domestic violence
Posted at 10:05 PM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 10:03:17-05

TULSA, Okla. — Domestic violence calls are on the rise in the midst of the pandemic.

Experts told 2 Works for You isolation and other stress factors are inciting aggressive violence inside households.

“There’s a sense of sort of hopelessness I think as this pandemic goes on with people that we’re never going to come out of it," Tracy Lyall, CEO of Domestic Violence Intervention, said.

Many across Green Country are trapped inside their own homes and isolated from the outside world at the height of coronavirus. A feeling DVIS officials said several domestic violence survivors experience every day.

“You just throw the pandemic on top of that and it just makes things even more chaotic," Lyall said.

Lyall said COVID's impact was felt immediately by domestic violence survivors but not in the way they thought. An article from the New England Journal of Medicine reports some domestic violence crisis center calls dropped by 50 percent at the start of the pandemic.

“Not having that outlet during the shutdown, or stay-at-home orders, and at that time things went pretty quiet for us," Lyall said. “An abusive person might be telling them, ‘You know everything is closed. No one’s going to help you.’”

Lyall said that didn't last.

"The crisis line began to really spike," she said.

Lyall said stressors such as remote schooling from home, job insecurity, finances, and social seclusion with family and partners drives domestic disputes.

“Those are all just additional stressors to where there’s been a tendency to use violence in the home," Lyall said. "Those are things that are just going to increase the likelihood of violence occurring now."

Lyall asks family and friends of a potential violence victim check in and often and pay attention to their behaviors.

She advises survivors to call DVIS for help planning the right and safe way to leave an abusive relationship.

In an emergency, you can call its 24-hour crisis line at 918-743-5763. You can also visit its website to schedule an in-person appointment.


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