I am a school teacher of small children. The other teachers and I are sharing stories of abuse the children are suffering at home during COVID-19. I just wanted to make you and your readers aware of the violence problem COVID is creating for the most vulnerable among us. What are your thoughts?
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. With COVID-19, it is an apt time for more domestic violence awareness. The Greensboro Police Department reports a 70 percent increase in child abuse in August. Guilford County is up 250 percent in domestic homicides for 2020 over 2019. Intimate partner domestic violence is a pandemic within a pandemic.
A study out of Boston at Brigham and Women’s Hospital of radiology scans between March 11 and May 3, 2020, identified 26 patients with wounds (broken bones, for example) consistent with domestic abuse. Twenty-six is double the number for the same period for years 2018 and 2019 combined. Stay-home orders left intimate partners and children trapped with their domestic abuser. Domestic partner abuse can be physical abuse, but it also can be emotional, sexual or psychological. Domestic abuse spans all socioeconomic groups, but indeed financial hard times with COVID-19 layoffs exacerbate the problem.
How do we as a society solve domestic violence? Solve is probably an aspiration, but on a day-to-day basis, domestic violence can be mitigated on a case-by-case basis. Keeping it simple, let’s focus on words and actions in the home.
First, words. Watch what you say. Be kind. “Wise speech is rarer and more valuable than gold and rubies.” Proverbs 20:15. Second actions. Do not discipline a child while you are angry. Back away from any physical violence or aggression of an intimate partner. Please get help if you need it. Guilford County has at least two safe houses operated by Family Service of the Piedmont. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-799-SAFE (7233).
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