We are all living through extraordinary circumstances. There is a lot of uncertainty in the way we conduct our daily lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, and there are plenty of instances where we break down and experience conflict with our loved ones. The difference lies within the way we engage in conflict with the people we love.
If you’re afraid of your partner, this is a big red flag. You may be scared to say what you think, to bring up certain topics, or to say no to sex. No matter the reason, fear has no place in a healthy relationship. Additional red flags and warning signs of domestic violence include but are not limited to:
- Issues with the relationship such as extreme jealousy, possessiveness, bad temper, and controlling behavior
- Physical and emotional abuse such as hitting, verbal abuse, gaslighting or victim-blaming, embarrassing or demeaning the victim either privately or publicly, and forcing sexual intercourse without the victim’s consent
- Control issues manifesting in restricting social interaction with friends or family, accusing the victim of cheating or having an affair, harassing the victim at work, sabotaging their ability to perform work-related or academic tasks, and threatening to publicize intimate photos or videos to compel the victim to stay
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, persons perpetrating domestic violence may withhold science-based information about the pandemic that will help victims make informed decisions, for instance when they need to get a COVID-19 test or if they need medical treatment.
If you or someone you know have experienced or are experiencing physical harm from the very people you should be getting comfort and support from during these times, then it is important to know that this is not okay and this behavior is actually considered domestic violence.
You have it within you to seek help through reaching out to people you trust and organizations committed to getting people experiencing physical harm in domestic situations to safety. (Link article with directory)
For anonymous, confidential help available 24/7, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) now.