“Something that might have been emotional or financial might turn into physical [abuse],” Crystal Justice, chief development and marketing officer for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, told Axios in a report published Thursday.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline told The Post last week that an increased number of victims who reach out by text or phone mention COVID-19.
During the coronavirus crisis, Justice said that the hotline has heard from victims who reported that their abusers are preventing them from going to work at their essential jobs or accessing products like soap and hand sanitizer, according to Axios.
The hotline has also gotten calls from people whose abusers threatened to use firearms when they have never done so in the past, the site reported.
“Domestic violence often escalates during and after a disaster,” said Connie Neal, the executive director of the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
“Because survivors of domestic violence are often already isolated, with limited access to financial resources and social networks, it can feel even more challenging to find and receive the support they need,” Neal told Axios.
For many victims in the age of coronavirus, staying at home with their abusers may be more dangerous than the virus itself – and experts warn that added stress could lead to even deadly episodes of violence.
“We are hearing of domestic violence victims feeling even more isolated from their friends, family, and support networks. Perpetrators of abuse are using this [stay home] guidance as an opportunity to further exert control over their victims’ whereabouts and relationships,” Nathaniel Fields, the President and CEO of Urban Resource Institute for domestic violence victims, told The Post.