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For Domestic Violence Victims, Stay-At-Home Orders Do Not Offer Safety

CBS News

April 8, 2020

Their marriage wasn’t perfect before the couple started working from home amid the shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic, but the underlying problems bubbled dangerously close to the surface with their forced isolation and constant contact, the wife told CBS News.

Like millions of other Americans, the couple has been forced into this situation because of the pandemic sweeping the country. Non-essential workers are working from home, or have been furloughed or laid off, and the ripple effects can be seen in millions of unemployment claims filed over the past month.

The couple has been married for a few years, and spending so much time together with their active toddler these past few weeks has put them both on edge, she said. The wife was previously in an abusive relationship, and she said she now recognizes the red flags that have recently emerged in her marriage. She requested anonymity due to concerns about her personal safety.

Takisha Richardson, an attorney at the firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll in Florida who represents domestic violence victims, noted that children are often able to escape domestic violence by going to school, and raise awareness about their home situation to trusted adults. The same is true of adult victims who may find relief and support at work.

“Most of those calls or cries for help don’t come when the survivor is at home,” Richardson said.

Richardson also advocated for a policy of “see something, say something.”

“When you suspect something is happening, you might be the difference between saving someone’s life and them ending up dead,” Richardson said. She noted that stay-at-home orders don’t prevent people from making runs to the grocery store, and suggested that victims try to visit shelters or make calls to hotlines while conducting necessary errands if they are able.

Read For Domestic Violence Victims, Stay-At-Home Orders Do Not Offer Safety.