As Canadians increasingly self-isolate amid urgent and necessary calls by the federal and provincial governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many women and children will be at greater risk of facing domestic violence. In fact, for many, a greater threat to their health and safety might be in their very home.
Isolation works to the advantage of abusers, allowing them to exercise greater power and control over their victims. The National Domestic Violence Hotline in the United States explains that abusers may manipulate women and children by withholding food or sanitary products, or by spreading misinformation about the virus. While isolation alone will heighten violence, other consequences deriving from isolation will equally exacerbate it.