The most dangerous time for a survivor is when they physically leave the abusive relationship. They are at a 75% higher risk of being killed.
People often wonder why survivors of domestic violence don’t “just leave” their abusive relationship or hesitate to get help. Sadly, there are several factors which prevent someone from easily leaving their abusive environment. Not only does it take immense courage to leave an abusive relationship, statistically, the most dangerous time for a victim is when they physically try to leave.
In March, at the start of Covid-19 stay-at-home mandates, many survivors were trapped at home with their abusers. Increased calls to hotlines demonstrated this shadow pandemic not only locally in DC but globally, as the World Health Organization reported Member States seeing up to a 60% increase in emergency calls from abused women when compared to rates in April 2019. Numbers began to fall in June and July, revealing the true and dangerous impact of domestic violence during Covid-19. Survivors have been afraid to call and seek help because they cannot do so safely without their abuser finding out. If they do need medical attention, they are often waiting until the last minute to seek medical assistance to avoid an escalation of violence. This fear coupled with the stressors of lockdown, has caused many survivors to feel hopeless, mentally drained, and stuck.