Fears of domestic violence on the rise as families go into self-isolation due to Coronavirus

Written by Sahana Venugopal

With growing calls for self-isolation and social distancing to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic, many are worried that indoor confinement with an abusive family member could put lives in danger.

According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, the police recorded over 1 million domestic abuse-related incidents and crimes in the year ending March 2019.

A video posted online on March 14 showed a woman in Italy playing the flute from her balcony during the quarantine. In the middle, a man walks in and bats at her with an object, causing the flute to drop. The woman grabs the object and begins to hit him with it as they both shout at each other.

While viewers all over the world enjoyed a laugh over the incident, several were quick to call out the man’s behavior and expressed their concern for people forced to self-isolate with an abusive partner, putting them at greater risk of experiencing domestic violence. 

Jeremy Corbyn raised the issue of domestic violence during the Prime Minister’s Questions last week. 

The Labour leader stated how every fortnight, three women were killed by their partner or ex-partner.

He said: “Domestic violence is only likely to increase if large numbers of people are having to self-isolate. Ten years of austerity has denied councils the funding they need to support victims of domestic abuse.”

He asked if Boris Johnson would commit an extra 173 million needed every year to ensure that survivors would get the needed support.

The Prime Minister highlighted how “record funding” has been put back into councils to support them in all their responsibilities.

He said: “We are committed to bringing forward a victim’s law to guarantee victims’ rights and this government has an outstanding record of tackling violence against women. And that is why we are taking forward in this Parliament our landmark domestic abuse bill.”

The NHS has stated that while there is no specific treatment for coronavirus, patients need to stay in isolation until they have recovered.

Written by Sahana Venugopal

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