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Domestic Violence - The "Pandemic Within A Pandemic"

Photo Credit: Karolina

Domestic violence during COVID-19 has been a “pandemic within a pandemic.” Learn about domestic violence, its persistence over time, the nature of domestic violence during the pandemic and how the Law Offices of Jane Migachyov helps survivors.


What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence (“DV”) is the use of physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions to gain and maintain POWER and CONTROL over an intimate partner.

Domestic violence is a global threat:

  • – Even before the pandemic, 1 in 3 women experienced physical or sexual violence, mostly by an intimate partner

  • – There have been an increase in calls to DV helplines in many countries since COVID-19 outbreak

  • – Sexual harassment and other forms of violence against women continue to occur on streets, in public spaces, online

  • – Survivors have limited information and awareness about available services and limited access to support services

  • – In some countries, resources and efforts have been diverted from violence against women to COVID-19 relief

  • – Mental health and substance use are related to DV, and if those factors are getting worse, so is DV

Domestic violence is endemic in the United States:

  • – There are more than 20,000 phone calls to DV hotlines a day

  • – Nearly 20 people a minute are physically abused by an intimate partner

  • – More than 10 million women and men a year are abused.

  • – 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe physical violence, contact sexual violence, and/or stalking

  • – This causes injury, fearfulness, PTSD, use of victim services, contraction of STD’s, etc.

Domestic violence can have severe economic impacts:

  • – Victims of intimate partner violence lose a total of 8.0 million days of paid work each year

  • – The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $8.3 billion per year

  • – 21-60% of victims of intimate partner violence lose their jobs due to reasons stemming from the abuse

  • – Between 2003-2008, 142 women were murdered in their workplace by their abuser, 78% of women killed in the workplace during this timeframe

Domestic violence is pervasive in every community:

  • – DV affects all people regardless of age, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality

  • – The consequences of DV can cross generations and last a lifetime


Domestic violence has surged globally during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • – Authorities call DV now “a pandemic within a pandemic”

  • – In the US, DV incidents increased 8.1% on average following stay-at-home orders

  • – Worldwide, there has been a 20% increase in DV incidents during lockdowns

The pandemic is exacerbating domestic violence:

  • – Shelter-in-place orders have been the reality of our lives, with closed schools, many workers furloughed, laid off, or told to work from home

  • – Extra stress caused by income loss has exacerbated DV

The pandemic amplifies economic inequalities:

  • – Women stay with abusers because they have nowhere else to go

  • – Women make up 2/3 of the lowest-paid workers in the US – those who seek to leave an abuser may have little chance of moving out

  • – The COVID-19 recession has put more women into this precarious, dangerous position

  • – Women are the majority of employees in child care, fast food, cleaning services, hair/nail salons

  • – These jobs are disappearing altogether due to COVID

The pandemic exacerbates housing inequalities:

  • – Housing authorities and landlords often have “zero-tolerance” crime policies – if a victim of

  • domestic violence calls 911 for help, they risk being evicted

  • – Eviction records can make people ineligible for housing either private or public

  • – There are federal and state protections against evicting victims of DV, but few victims are able to secure their housing rights

  • – Shelters and transitional housing are hard to come by during the pandemic

What it is like to suffer from domestic violence in a pandemic:

  • – Victims are confined 24/7 with their abusers, with even fewer social contacts and limited means to escape

  • – Victim’s isolation does not raise any red flags with friends or neighbors – most are COVID-19 isolated too

  • – Normal resources such as shelters, group therapy, job programs, etc. are affected and limited by COVID-19 social distancing

  • – Law enforcement, school, and CPS are also affected

  • – Victims decline medical help for their physical injuries due to fear of contracting COVID-19

Tactics an abuser uses in the pandemic:


  • Intimidate: Weapons in home

  • – Emotional: Dishonest test results

  • – Isolate: Disabling Internet at whim

  • – Minimize: Blaming for exposure

  • – Children: Return refusal/modify

  • – Privilege: Controlling space; silence

  • – Economic: Threaten “kick out”

  • – Coercion/Threat: Withhold medical

POWER AND CONTROL: The end result of using these tactics


There are three steps to becoming safe from domestic violence

· Create a safety plan

· Leave the abuser

· Get legal representation

The Law Offices of Jane Migachyov helps survivors combat domestic violence during the pandemic by providing legal representation at every step of the legal process:

· Applying for a temporary restraining order (TRO)

· Appearing at a hearing to get a permanent restraining order

· Renewing a restraining order

If you need a restraining order during these pandemic times, schedule a free initial consultation with the Law Offices of Jane Migachyov NOW.

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