Domestic Violence during Lockdown could be a symbol of Underlying Anxiety.

By Prapoorna M

Last Updated: November 27, 2021

Corona Virus has invaded our lives recently, claiming numerous lives, and practising social distancing and lockdown has been inevitable for us, in this regard to keep our lives safe. Lockdown is making people stay at home for all the time, allowing us to stay with our family and work from home. But, it is the same lockdown that is providing the abusers a way to target their victims. Domestic violence cases are seeing a rise during the lockdown.

Vulnerable people feel trapped with their abusers during this lockdown. On this background, governments are requesting to report if you hear yelling and crying in your neighbourhood. Please react and inform the police or the social service centres to save the victims of domestic abuse. In case you think your partner might turn out to be one, you may take the help of an expert counsellor through online counselling to make your relations better.

Covid – The Cause

In the countries where millions of people are infected and thousands of them are dying, the partners started doubting their spouses at home if they are infected or if they might infect them. Though this might appear like mild paranoia, such apprehensions are leading to domestic abuse. A wife says, “He was coughing the other day and was shouting at me that I might have infected him. But, I really don’t have any symptoms. I’m afraid it’s an attempt to isolate me. He neither lets me leave the house nor stops abusing me.”

It is also reported in some places that perpetrators are threatening to throw their victims into the streets so that they get infected. Some are using Covid-19 as a means of isolating their victims, mostly partners, from friends and family. Though it is highly necessary to take precautions and follow isolation and social distancing during these times, most abusers are using this as an opportunity to unleash more violence. The lack of control that we all are feeling worldwide is making the abusers take it on their victims.

Man wearing a mask amid Covid
Man wearing a mask amid Covid

Effect on children

When the bread maker of the house, the loving mother, is abused, the children would be scared and feel helpless. People who earn too little and whose income depends on their little street businesses or who can earn only by driving an auto rickshaw and the daily laborers are prone to lose their calm and get angry on their wives, who are helpless. They are allegedly abusing, thrashing and beating their wives. A mother of three children, who faced domestic abuse from her husband during lockdown, says “They have witnessed their father’s anger before, but, it has been worsen these days.

They have seen him throwing things against the wall and pulling me by the hair”. It is hard to imagine how much they hate him for that and what kind of severe impact this incident might already have had on them. Gender-based violence, home abusiveness and unhealthy toxic home environment will have a drastic effect on the children. They might also trigger some mental disorders in the children who grow up in such toxic home environments.

It is almost impossible for women from lower socio-economic groups to complain domestic abuse as they are living in one or two room homes with their abusers. Unfortunately, it is the scene right now, in every country of the world, but not some. While the governments are busy dealing with the Covid cases, these incidents are slowly increasing in the society.

What Experts Say?

It is important to report any kind of abuse, whether physical or verbal. The neighbors who happen to observe such incidents can take the help of government or social service centers when someone is in danger. Psychologists say that the stressful situations like lack of money, uncertainty of tomorrow, losing jobs etc. trigger already abusive people. As people are kept refrained from their safety and coping mechanisms, it could be hard to manage their emotions. They find someone to vent out their frustrations on. However, it is both unethical and illegal to abuse.

Experts are suggesting that the underlying anxiety that builds up during such situations can be the cause for domestic abuse. We are all struck at our homes, struggling with some fear of the unknown, and uncertainty. It is important to manage our emotions at this moment. Having relationship conflicts and creating family harm are of concern. It is common to have high anxiety while this uncertainty is going around. We are not even sure if the number of cases would remain reduced after the lockdown. Under such circumstances, it is common to lose our balance.

Running ourselves emotionally as that anxiety could be driving us crazy is a real threat to our relationships. If you let your feelings do everything and talk and behave as you please without any control on how you are, that will make you do silly things that you could be ashamed of, later. So, it’s highly important to use our common sense and intellect to guide ourselves.

Tips to Manage

To have a peaceful time by managing our emotions during this lockdown, one may follow certain tips.

  • Spend some time alone, everyday
  • Walk away when you have bad mood or can’t handle things
  • Take your space if you are feeling suffocated emotionally
  • Contact your psychologist through phone or video chat, if needed
  • Be realistic on what’s happening around and in the house
  • Lower expectations of everyone including yourselves, as nobody can work as efficiently or smart as you expect, during this time.
  • Understand that not every day will be good and easy
  • Hope for a better tomorrow, always
  • Think small and stay present
  • Reduce tensions and arguments
  • Exercise and meditate
  • Keep being optimistic

Are feeling it tough to manage your emotions? Do you feel like thrashing someone or breaking things? Please find out if you are in need of professional help. Emotional health is as important as physical health. Talk to our experts who can understand what you need and provide you a way on how to deal with your emotions during this lockdown time. Log on to Wellness Hub to book an appointment with one of our psychologists who are empathetic, non-judgmental and friendly. Online counseling is available either through phone or a video chat, as per your convenient at your chosen time.

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