[D]uring times of crisis—such as natural disasters, wars, and epidemics—the risk of gender-based-violence escalates. In China, the number of domestic violence cases reported to the local police tripled in February compared to the previous year, according to Axios. Activists say this is a result of enforced lockdown.
“We know that domestic violence is rooted in power and control,” says Ray-Jones. “Right now, we are all feeling a lack of control over our lives and an individual who cannot manage that will take it out on their victim.” She says that while the number of abuse cases may not rise during the coronavirus crisis, people who were already in an abusive situation will likely find themselves facing more extreme violence, and can no longer escape by going to work or seeing friends.
The current crisis also makes it more difficult for victims to seek help.
For many women, even the fear of contracting the coronavirus is stopping them from seeking out medical care after experiencing physical abuse.
Many victims also feel that they can no longer seek refuge at their parents’ home, for fear that they could expose their elderly parents to the virus.