When the COVID-19 pandemic broke, it suddenly introduced the world to new lifestyle rules. People were told to stay home, avoid gatherings and public places, social distance, and constantly wash their hands. All these measures are meant to help stop the spread of the virus. However, another thing that the pandemic brought to the society and homes is being quarantined after exposure to COVID-19. While this is an excellent way of curbing the spread of the disease, quarantining in an abusive household can pose many difficulties.
Facing abuse during quarantine can be a life-threatening situation since you’re grounded in one place for some time. Unfortunately, abuse cases keep rising, but the options you have are limited. However, a few helpful tips can make life more tolerable until you’re free to mingle with other people.
- Know That You Have Fewer Options
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there were more options for a person living in an abusive household. It was easier to seek refuge in a shelter or stay with friends and family. Unfortunately, the options have been narrowed by the pandemic, and even worse when you’re under quarantine. You may not be able to leave the household at all until the quarantine period is over.
In any case, even afterward, the shelters now only accept a limited number of people. So, try to find out before your quarantine period is over the safe places you can run to when the time comes. Currently, the options for a person facing a domestic violence situation are still very few.
- Create A Safety Plan
You can’t move freely, but you can start planning for your exit as soon as the quarantine period is over. A safety plan includes ways you can remain safe in an abusive household. Include the things to do when leaving and how you’ll stay safe afterward. When you’re in such a situation, you need to stay prepared. If you have children still living in the household, your plan should include them and how you’ll remove them from the situation safely.
Be prepared to leave as soon as an opportunity presents itself. Have items safely hidden, such as credit cards, extra car keys, ID, charger, and important documents. Always keep your phones fully charged. Keep these items where you’ll only need to grab them and leave. Have a plan for the easiest way out of your home and where you intend to go. The beauty of planning ahead is to avoid making hasty decisions under pressure if things escalate and you need to leave immediately.
- Keep In Touch With People
One of the ways abusers prey on you is the fact that you have to stay away from others. You can’t accept visitors or go out to meet anyone. In this situation, it’s important to keep in touch with family and friends whenever possible. It can be through social media, email, text messaging, phone calls, or any other option you may have. Let the communication be on a schedule so that the people you check in with can know when they need to call for help.
It’s essential to have support around you and people who are also aware of your situation. Always be careful just in case your abuser is monitoring your activities. Have code phrases and share them with your support network to indicate when you’re okay and when you aren’t. Discuss with those you communicate with how they can intervene to help. This may include calling your abuser to distract them from hurting you.
- Practice Some Self-Care
The pandemic is a lot to take in, and if coupled with quarantine and abuse, it’s bound to take a toll on your emotional and psychological health. This makes taking care of yourself the best way to survive the whole situation. Look for things that help you cope better with the situation and put your mind at peace, such as journaling, praying, working out, and meditation.
Getting some fresh air can also be helpful if you have a backyard or a balcony where you can do that. Try to incorporate the small things into your day that ease your anxiety, worry, and fear. Listening to music and doing creative projects, such as painting and crafting, can also help you cope much better. Basically, you’re trying to pour your emotions into healthy activities.
Being in an abusive household during quarantine creates a very challenging environment to stay in. However, don’t allow the fear of the virus or your abuser to keep you from seeking help. Keeping in touch with people is important so that they may know when they can offer assistance. When you feel like your life is in danger, call for help or present yourself to a health facility or the police station, and explain your predicament. The most important thing is to protect yourself and your children if they’re still in the house.