The devastating effects of COVID-19 are far spreading, affecting every aspect of our life from health to relationships to finances. On top of this, being in close quarters with family can create a new kind of tension — in some cases, terror. For victims and survivors of domestic violence, home may not be a safe haven; it can leave the survivors trapped in an escalating cycle of tension, power and control. The stress of the pandemic and resulting limited access to social support systems can create a breeding ground for abuse, even in homes where violence was not previously present.
Abuse is repeated misuse of one’s power and authority over another person in hurtful and damaging ways. Abuse mostly happens in close relationships and among family members. Being socially and financially dependent can make it difficult for victims to escape this cycle of dysfunction. There is not always a clear direction of abuse; in many cases, the line between abused and abuser is blurry, leaving both parties confused, heartbroken and stuck in a constant state of depression, anger and fear without seeing any way out.
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