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Coronavirus: What to do if domestic abuse happens to you while in isolation


Domestic abuse cases may rise in this season of lockdown and uninterrupted home-staying. [Credit – Shutterstock]

Way before it happened, and immediately after the realization hit that three major cities in Nigeria were going to be locked down, the concern many had was about providing supplies that’d be enough to pull through the 14-day period.

Not that any of that isn’t important, but let’s also spare a thought for those who would be going into isolation with their abusers, and people who might perpetrate domestic and/or sexual violence against them.

It could be a spouse, a lover, a parent, a guardian… it could be anyone really, as abuse has been shown to come in as many forms as you can possibly imagine.And sometimes, from completely unimaginable sources.

Abuse really does happen. Even where you least expect it to. [Credit - KontrolMag]

What to do in case of domestic abuse during the isolation period

For Lagos state residents, the state government has provided the following numbers to reach out to.

Office of the Public Defender: 07080601080

Ireti Resource Center – 07003333111

MIRABEL – 08155770000

WARIF – 08092100009

Cece Yara – 08008008001

Stand To End Rape – 08095967000

Primary Health Care Board – 08033865196

DVSRT – 08137960048, 09062887843

Need to speak with a psychologist? – Call 09062887865, 09062887844

Being with an abusive partner will likely get worse at a time like this. [Credit: Binhu]

Around the world, as cities have gone into lockdown to stop the spread of Coronavirus, reports of domestic abuse, especially against women and children have inevitably risen.

According to Guardian UK, from Brazil to Germany, Italy to China, activists and survivors say they are already seeing an alarming rise in abuse.

In Hubei province, China, violence reports to police jumped from 47 throughout last year to 162 already this year.

In Cyprus, calls to a similar hotline rose 30% in the week after 9 March, when the island had its first confirmed case of Coronavirus.

In Spain where lockdown Laws are very strict and people who flout them are fined/prosecuted, the country recorded a domestic violence fatality five days after the lockdown began. The victim, a woman, was actually murdered by her husband in front of their children in the coastal province of Valencia.

What can you do to help others?

Share this article, the official government hotlines in your state, and all relevant information you can find, with as many people as you can, especially if you suspect that there could be abuse or domestic violence being perpetrated against that individual.

Don’t hesitate to call the numbers yourself

A child being brutalized by a parent? A spouse assaulting the other? Domestic violence of any kind? Feel free to call those numbers above.

Minding one’s business shouldn’t have to extend to situations of life and [potential] death.

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