As social distancing continues, advocates worry that domestic violence may increase during quarantine.
Debra Morrow is the executive director of Middle Way House in Bloomington. She anticipates an increase in demand for services once social distancing restrictions decrease.
She says studies show that after natural disasters, survivors of domestic abuse are more likely to reach out for help. This is, in part, because stress caused by a crisis can exacerbate abuse that already was occurring.
“Honestly, we're thinking that after this is over is when there's going to be a huge onset," she says. "The domestic violence increases, but you don’t always find that out until after. With no end in sight, that really worries me.”
Morrow says Middle Way is still operating and offering assistance, while taking precautions to prevent spread of infection.
Even if someone doesn’t want to leave their relationship, Morrow says they can call Middle Way’s hotline (812) 336-0846 ---or visit its website to set up a safety plan.
Zoe Peterson is associate research scientist at the Indiana University Kinsey Institute and associate professor of counseling and educational psychology at IU. She says it's very hard to keep real time data on domestic violence and sexual assault because often times, victims don't feel safe to report the crime until after the fact.
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