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What is The “Shadow Pandemic” of Domestic Violence? Abuse During COVID-19

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Definition of “Shadow Pandemic”

The “Shadow Pandemic” of domestic violence is a term that refers to the dramatic rise in isolated cases of domestic violence during the global pandemic. This situation has only been further exacerbated due to the additional pressures of life in lockdown. Even tougher is the inability of many victims to access vital social and legal services. As such, it is crucial that individuals remain aware of the dangers posed by this ‘shadow pandemic’. Make sure they are able to access appropriate resources for help should circumstances arise.

**WARNING** Some of the photos are graphic! I am showing what domestic violence looks like.

Overview of COVID-19 and Domestic Violence

The alarming outbreak of abuse since the implementation of stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19 restrictions and social isolation is absolutely frightening. I was a victim caught in the mess. Read What is true domestic violence? How I survived the horrors of an abusive relationship for more information. People made domestic violence calls at alarming rates, ranging from physical and mental abuse to threatening behavior, and even murder. I was almost murdered, so this is a subject I am passionate about. This crisis is affecting families across the nation and requires urgent attention and resources.

Economic Cost of Domestic Violence Cases During the “Shadow Pandemic”

During the past year, domestic violence cases have skyrocketed due to lockdown measures. The economic costs of dealing with these cases have been enormous: estimates suggest that this “shadow pandemic” -people purposely hurting other people – cost countries around the world up to 3 percent of their gross domestic product (! Many governments are tackling this issue by investing in innovative solutions and stronger law enforcement. However, the effects of this “shadow pandemic” continue to be felt and its true consequences on our communities are still unfolding.

Statistics of the “Shadow Pandemic”

The statistics are staggering. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. One in three women will experience some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. On a typical day, domestic violence hotlines receive approximately 20,000 calls.

This means that someone you know, whether it is at work, during your commute, or even within the extended family, could potentially experience domestic violence. Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, regardless of age, race, gender, or socioeconomic status. Be aware of the signs of domestic violence and know how to provide support if someone you know discloses that they are experiencing abuse. PLEASE act on any information you receive. I am only alive today because someone acted upon their suspicions. I am so incredibly grateful. Wouldn’t you rather be wrong? Share the infographics on this page. Give out helpline numbers, whatever it takes.

The shadow pandemic of domestic violence during COVID-19 | Kemi DaSilvaIbru

The effects of domestic violence are far-reaching. Domestic violence is a leading cause of homicide for women. It is the leading cause of death for pregnant women in the U.S. ( The victims are not just women; men and transgender people are also victims of domestic violence. Approximately one in seven men have been physically assaulted by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. Nearly 54% of transgender individuals have experienced some form of intimate partner violence, including acts involving coercive violence and physical harm ( That’s just sick.

Effects of domestic violence include:

  • Physical injuries
  • Mental health problems (PTSD is no joke!!)
  • Substance abuse (check)
  • Poverty (check)
  • Homelessness (prior check)
  • Death (almost a check!)

Risk Assessments

The COVID-19 pandemic has coincided with a dramatic rise in domestic violence cases, the so-called “shadow pandemic”. This private tragedy comes at a high economic cost to individuals and families affected directly and to society as a whole. Safe spaces for victims can help reduce the risk of further abuse and limit its financial burden. Much more needs to be done to address the root causes of intimate partner violence. Helping vulnerable populations access resources is essential in fighting this shadow pandemic and preventing long-term economic costs.

Physical Violence During the “Shadow Pandemic”

Domestic violence has been on a sharp rise during the 2020 “shadow pandemic” as isolation mandates prevent families from having access to resources and support networks. Many countries are experiencing increased reports of physical and emotional abuse among their citizens. This makes it difficult for service providers to respond. Victims of all ages need access to supportive services and swift action from law enforcement in order to end the cycle of physical violence during this time of fear and uncertainty. Governments need to make an effort to protect their people from harm and ensure prevention strategies are in place.

Family Violence During the Pandemic

Family violence is an increasing problem during the pandemic. It is any form of violence or abuse from a family member, including physical or mental damage or neglect. While this behavior has always been present, the pandemic has only made it worse with more people being isolated and stuck at home. It’s important to remember that if you or someone you know experiences family violence, there are ways to get help and resources available.

Incidents of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is not just a problem in the United States. It is a global pandemic. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in three women worldwide has experienced physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner or sexual assault by someone other than a partner and the rates of domestic abuse are only increasing.

The Shadow Pandemic Affects Victims:

  • Who have low self-esteem or feel trapped.
  • Who Feel like they are always walking on eggshells around the abuser.
  • In need of money or who are being denied access to money.
  • Denied access to transportation or kept from leaving the home.

Reports of Domestic Violence During the “Shadow Pandemic”

During the pandemic, reports of domestic violence have dramatically increased worldwide. This ‘shadow pandemic’ includes physical and psychological acts of aggression as well as economic coercion. Women and children have been disproportionately affected by this type of violence and in some countries, the increase has been up to 40%. ( Mental health professionals urge people to remain aware of warning signs of domestic violence and show support for those suffering from it.

Victims of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence affects individuals of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. Intimate partner violence is the abusive behavior between two people in an intimate relationship. Types of violence include physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse. Victims may experience acts such as intimidation and isolation, threats of physical harm or death, destruction of property or animals, and stalking.

Support for Those Affected by Domestic Violence

There are many ways to support victims of domestic abuse, both emotional and practical. Here are some ideas:

  • Listen to them and believe them. Many victims feel ashamed or embarrassed about what is happening to them, so it’s important to let them know that they can talk to you about it without judgment.
  • Offer them practical assistance like cooking, cleaning, or childcare.
  • Help them connect with resources. There are many organizations that can offer support.
  • Please encourage them to seek professional help. Victims of domestic abuse can often benefit from talking to a therapist or counselor.
  • Let them know that they are not alone and that you are there for them.
  • Show them that you care by being supportive and understanding.
  • Please don’t blame them for what is happening or make them feel guilty.
  • Please DO NOT ask them why they don’t leave. It’s none of your business. (I didn’t leave at first because he almost succeeded in killing me when I tried).

Domestic Violence Shelters

Domestic violence has long been an issue in our communities, but the coronavirus amplified the challenge for domestic violence shelters. The government made a majority of these places shut down due to contact precautions which left countless survivors without a refuge. Thankfully, people have a safe way to access shelters now due to workers finagling adaptations and “correct” ways for people to connect.

Video calls and remote services are offered by many shelters. Donations are necessary to help these spaces remain operational and serve their vulnerable populations through this difficult time. A lot of changes had to be made and the money has to come from somewhere.

Domestic Violence Calls and Domestic Violence Hotlines

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic violence calls to hotlines increased significantly. People stuck in close quarters with abusers feel desperate and struggle alone, heightening their risk and fear levels. These hotline services offer survivors a critical source of support, advocacy, education, and help with immediate needs like housing or financial assistance. Hotlines are available nationwide to provide free, private consultation through phone calls or online chats. Survivors now more than ever have access to get the help they need, in contrast to a year or two ago.

Empowerment of Women, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Domestic Violence Survivors 

Violence among LGBTQ+ individuals is widespread and disproportionately impacts those at the intersection of other forms of discrimination. Empowerment programs have an important role in creating a sense of security and stability for survivors. Women-centered organizations often provide tailored support to LGBTQ+ survivors, allowing them to access a spectrum of resources necessary to remain safe while also recognizing their unique identity and needs.

Additionally, these organizations create trauma-informed spaces that enable survivors to heal from the violence they experienced with the compassionate sympathy of their peers in mind. By engaging in this work, we can work towards real change when it comes to violence against queer women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender nonconforming communities.

Gender-Based Violence During the Pandemic

Gender-Based violence unfortunately has been on the rise during the pandemic. Reports reveal that those of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities are disproportionately affected. Fortunately, many organizations around the world have worked to bring awareness to this issue, providing resources for victims as well as outreach on how to prevent and respond to incidents of gender-based violence.

Additionally, people everywhere are advocating for stronger laws to ensure such violence is properly addressed and punished. We must work together now more than ever to ensure safety and justice for all genders.

Gender Equality, Mental Health, and Social Norms

Gender equality is essential to foster mental health. Social norms hinder its acceptance, as cultural expectations and stereotypes influence our perceptions of what is viewed as appropriate for each gender. These constructions of gender limit possibilities, resulting in a reduced acceptance of gender identities that challenge the status quo. We must continue to advocate for rights that ensure all genders exist with equal respect and dignity because, really, it is the right thing to do.

Safe Spaces in Private and Public Life for Domestic Violence During the Shadow Pandemic

Domestic violence has become a serious issue in recent months as the number of cases has increased due to the economic hardship people around the world have had to face during the pandemic. In light of this, it is important to create both private and public safe spaces for survivors. Private safe spaces are homes and shelters that are set up by local governments or charities to provide food, clothing, social support, and mental health care free of charge.

On the other hand, public safe spaces are places like community centers or libraries offering similar services and often also providing social activities like weekly meetings with professional counselors to help victims connect with others and rebuild their lives. With proper safe space support, individuals escaping domestic violence can successfully heal themselves and build a better future.

United States Government Response to COVID-19 Related Domestive Abuse Cases

The United States government has responded to the increase in domestic abuse cases connected to the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing funding for victims’ services. They’ve also expanded access to courts with virtual hearings and teleconferencing services, providing resources such as legal aid and support services through the Department of Justice.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is made available 24/7 to offer confidential help and potential ways out to victims of domestic abuse. Finally, the government is actively working on public campaigns, aimed at engaging citizens and raising awareness about this public health issue.

Local Governments and State Governments Responses to the Shadow Pandemic-Related Domestive Abuse Cases 

In response to the shadow pandemic-related domestic abuse cases, local and state governments have been working together to address the issue. The U.S. Department of Justice has offered grants for community services and initiatives that are related to criminal justice. These grants focus on education and awareness, as well as security and safety policies in homes, workplaces, and educational settings.

Additionally, state governments have created orders which allow victims of domestic violence who are facing terminal illness the ability to access their pension funds within 10 days after the application approval. All of these measures allow local and state governments to support victims with financial assistance, thus protecting them from further abuse.

Upper Michigan Responses to the Shadow Pandemic-Related Domestive Abuse Cases 

In Upper Michigan, the U.S. Department of Justice is actively aiding criminal justice response to an uptick in domestic abuse cases due to the pandemic. With innovative projects like the Strategic Alliance, they are helping expedite access to resources and support services for those who need it most. Moreover, their commitment to reaching out to rural counties has furthered their goal of helping create safer homes and communities throughout the region.

I am currently working with someone trying to donate a house for domestic violence survivors and hope that we can get things going by next summer. I am so excited to be involved in such a HUGE community resource, especially because I live in a teeny tiny town. It is a college town, but itty bitty.

World Health Organization (WHO), and United Nations Entity Responses to the Shadow Pandemic-Related Domestive Abuse Cases 

The World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Entity have responded to the “shadow pandemic” of domestic violence cases brought on by COVID-19. Unprecedented measures are being taken to protect victims, strengthening laws and offering more funding for the shelters. WHO and UNE have emphasized that abuse has no place in our societies regardless of the circumstances.

Urging people to stay united for better times ahead. To spread awareness, training for front-line research workers and prevention campaigns are also underway. The public can also help by recognizing signs of abuse when they see or hear it, as well as seeking resources for victims in need should they need them

I have to mention something that bothers me. Media regarding the UN and WHO mention the abuse of women and girls, but are pretty silent when it comes to men, gay, and transgender people. This isn’t right, especially nowadays. What the hell is wrong with them? I understand that the majority of survivors are women, but that statistic is probably skewed some by the fact that men and transgender people report abuse less often and they have less access to do so.

Spread of COVID-19, Number of Cases, and Research Team in Relation to Domestic Violence

The number of COVID-19 cases is reaching an all-time high. Many reports indicate that the spread has worsened domestic violence incidents as communities continue to struggle. To combat this issue, research teams are now forming to identify the uptick in reported abuse and ensure proper services for affected individuals. With these teams in place, it is hoped that a plan can be developed to assist families who struggle with varying forms of violence during these difficult times.

The onset of COVID-19 and Mandatory Lockdowns in Relation to Domestic Violence

During the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, many countries implemented strict lockdown measures that resulted in job losses and the closure of public spaces. This period also saw an increase in the incidents of domestic violence due to isolation and confinement imposed by these preventative policies. Lacking economic resources, victims were left with fewer options for escape as access to shelters, and support networks as public spaces were reduced significantly or even non-existent.

Lack of Access to Medical Care, Social Services, and Domestic violence shelters

Access to medical care, social services, and domestic violence shelters is a significant issue that has been brought about by disparities in the distribution of resources. This can have a particularly profound effect on survivors of domestic violence whose access to essential services is hindered. These vital resources help those in need survive and escape ongoing danger. Improving access to these life-saving supports could be a game changer for domestic violence survivors.

Gender Inequality and Women’s Aid During the “Shadow Pandemic”

Women’s rights have taken a major hit since the coronavirus pandemic began. Women are facing a heightened risk of gender-based violence, financial insecurity, and obstacles to accessing medical and support services. Women everywhere are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, with little help from officials or organizations.

In order for us to tackle this “shadow pandemic” of gender inequality, it is essential that we step up to provide emergency aid, mental health care, and legal services specifically tailored to women during this crisis. Women should no longer bear the unequal burden of pandemic-induced discrimination that has been fermenting for generations.

Tell Me: A Shadow Pandemic

President Biden’s Response to the Shadow Pandemic

President Biden is responding to the COVID-19 indirect consequences, known as the shadow pandemic, with a strong focus on community well-being. He is leveraging private sector resources and increasing public funding for essential services such as mental health care and expanding food support. Biden’s plan projects that it will provide comfort and security to millions of Americans struggling with this secondary crisis.

Physical Health and Unprecedented Challenges to the Shadow Pandemic  

As the world responds to the COVID-19 crisis, a growing awareness of its devastating physical health effects is being seen. The “shadow pandemic” of human rights violations has also been exacerbated as governments introduce increasingly restrictive measures. From greater restrictions placed on movement and assembly rights to rising cases of gender-based violence and child labor, these unprecedented challenges demonstrate the urgency to strengthen and uphold human rights around the globe.

Social Distancing Measures and Support for Healthcare Providers

In the face of a global pandemic, social media has become an essential tool in social distancing measures. It allows us to connect with each other without being physically close and share vital information at record speeds.

Service providers have used social media to support healthcare providers by dedicating entire social media campaigns, donating medical supplies, and creating pages where individuals can drop off masks and protective gear to be used on the front lines. We are seeing unprecedented amounts of social media participation in this “shadow pandemic,” expressing gratitude for our healthcare workers and mutual solidarity.

Domestic Violence Awareness during the “Shadow Pandemic”

Domestic violence has become an even more serious issue during the coronavirus pandemic given the fact that victims are quarantined with their abusers. November 25 is the International Day for the elimination of violence against women, and it serves as a somber reminder that we must work towards eliminating this “shadow pandemic” within our society. Together, we can spread awareness by educating ourselves and others on how to support those suffering from domestic violence and advocating for policies intended to protect them.

What Can We Do To Address the Pandemic?

We must break the silence and shine a light on this hidden epidemic. There are ways we can provide support and resources to victims and survivors of domestic violence. Holding perpetrators accountable for their actions is a great start. We must change our attitudes and behaviors that condone or excuse domestic violence. Let’s work together to create safe and healthy communities free from domestic violence.

Domestic violence is a hidden epidemic that affects millions of people each year. It can have a lasting impact on victims and families, and it can be difficult to identify the signs, but the more we know, the more we can help someone within our circle escape.

What Can We Do To Prevent Another Shadow Pandemic?

There are many things we can do to help prevent domestic violence from happening. We can educate ourselves about the issue and learn how to identify red flags. Talk to our friends and family about domestic violence and offer support to victims. Volunteer with organizations that work to prevent domestic violence, and we can donate money to help fund prevention programs.

What Resources Are Available For Victims And Families Affected By Domestic Violence?

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, there are resources available to help. The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides crisis counseling and 24/7 support for victims of domestic violence. Their phone number is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). They also have a website with information, including state-by-state resources.

The website Love Is Respect provides information and resources for both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. They offer a 24/7 national helpline at 1-866-331-9474.

The website Safe Horizon provides support and resources for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and other forms of crime. They offer a 24/7 national hotline at 1-800-621-HOPE (4673).


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love it because it’s so convenient and accessible, and I’ve found it to be really helpful. Plus, I was able to snag you 20% off for being my readers. This is my thank you to you and showing you how much you mean to me.I believe that everyone deserves access to quality mental health care, and this is one way that I can help make that a reality. I believe in what they stand for and the community of assistance they are building. So please, take advantage of this offer and give Online-therapy a chance. 


What is domestic violence?

What is the “shadow pandemic”?

Are men also victims of domestic violence?

What are some signs of domestic violence?

How can I help someone affected by domestic violence?

This concludes my post on preventing and addressing domestic violence. I hope this has been helpful and provided you with some useful information. Remember, if you or someone you know is affected by domestic violence, there are resources available to help. Take care!


domestic violence resources FOR SHADOW pandemic

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