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The collateral victims of shelter-in-place

There can be no doubt that the measures taken to combat the coronavirus are disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable among us. At the top of the list are those for whom home is not a safe place to be.

Shelter-in-place is a “perfect storm” for victims of domestic abuse and controlling behaviour — being in a confined space with an abuser, with the added pressure of financial worries and uncertainty of the future, feeling trapped, causing anxiety and intense emotions.

This is all a recipe for the increased risk of violence in an environment that makes it much more difficult for victims to seek refuge and help.

The lockdown measures are particularly dangerous for the children of abusive relationships; they are more likely to witness or experience violence as long as they are stuck at home while access to trusted adults outside of the home is cut off. For some children, school is the only safe place to be.

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