Coronavirus

NY’s shutdown will cause domestic abuse to rise

However, resources are still available to victims of abuse.

Chirlane McCray at the Staten Island Family Justice Center, five of which have closed since the coronavirus outbreak.

Chirlane McCray at the Staten Island Family Justice Center, five of which have closed since the coronavirus outbreak. Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

With many New Yorkers confined to their homes due to the COVID-19 crisis, it’s probable that instances of domestic abuse will go up. 

When victims of domestic abuse are isolated with their abusers, the risk of abuse increases significantly. “Typically in times like these, either of a national emergency or times when people are forced to remain at home more often, even around the holidays, domestic violence incidents do tend to spike,” Christopher Bromson, executive director of the Crime Victims Treatment Center, told Gotham Gazette.

In China, the number of domestic abuse cases tripled in February – during the peak of its COVID-19 outbreak – compared to the previous year. And there have already been reports of domestic abuse in the U.S. since the COVID-19 outbreak began forcing people to isolate themselves at home. 

Many who are sequestered at home with their abusers will no longer have access to their usual support systems or social networks that help them through tough times. And there are growing concerns that victims of domestic abuse will feel that they have no recourse, as victims tend to reach out for help when they’re alone. “A lot of the time, survivors will contact us when the abuser isn’t in the home, when they are at work,” Gwyn Kaitis, policy coordinator for the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence, told ProPublica. “There isn’t an opportunity to do that now.”

The COVID-19 crisis also provides abusers with new opportunities to exercise power over their victims. "Their partners are telling them they can't see their friends or family because of potential exposure,” Katie Ray-Jones, chief executive officer of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, told USA Today. “Other partners are threatening to kick victims out and expose them to COVID-19."

In many cases those looking to escape from abusive situations may seek refuge elsewhere, such as a parent or friend’s home, or a shelter. Unfortunately, fears of potentially spreading or contracting COVID-19 could prevent many from leaving dangerous situations. Victims of abuse experiencing serious violence who may be in need of medical attention are also less likely to venture out to hospitals now due to fears of contracting COVID-19. 

Shelters, which are deemed “essential,” are still operating throughout New York City – but they’re more crowded than ever. “There are never enough beds for domestic violence survivors, especially single survivors who don't have children,” Bromson said. “That is in and outside of this crisis.”

The New York City Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence closed five of its Family Justice Centers last week, but it’s still offering its service over the phone. Many nonprofits that aid victims of domestic abuse have also moved their services online and onto hotlines. However, it’s unclear if those suffering from domestic abuse are aware that these resources remain available to them. 

New York City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal feels that the city should be doing more to alert domestic abuse victims to the services still available to them. “I do think that the city should be putting out public service announcements getting that message across,” Rosenthal told Gotham Gazette. “I think that would be important.”

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.