Has Isolation Made Abuse Worse?
When I think of what this world shutdown has done to our way of life, I shudder to think of what it truly meant for those who needed an escape from an abuser. Imagine being locked at home with the very person who beats you senseless, torments you emotionally, and gaslights you into psychological insanity. My heart breaks for every single victim whose horrific abuse experience has been kicked up a notch thanks to insufferable isolation.
It is my hope that they have found a way out; but sadly, the sheer volume of abuse victims won’t go down like the number of virus cases. Our emergence into society isn’t necessarily their freedom from torture. But what is happening is that many have had enough and are speaking out. The suffering has led to bravery, and we see it all around the news.
As heartbreaking as it is, it is also empowering to know that change is being demanded.
The world is waking up to the reality of abuse. Headlines are everywhere about this Hollywood sexual assault story and that senseless neighborhood domestic abuse tragedy and countless other stories. Is it oversaturation—or simply our voices speaking louder?
Well, it’s time to be heard.
An article entitled The Other Pandemic No One is Talking About was truly eye-opening with a positive message: this awareness is not only about helping those already abused; the goal is prevention.
“…domestic violence always comes back to prevention. Everyone has a role to play in ending these forms of violence, whether it’s as an activist or active bystander, or working to model healthy relationships and social norms, or in mentoring young people..”
Perhaps this past year has helped us all to open our eyes to the plights of those around us.
Children were going without a healthy (or any) meal. The sick were denied access to loved ones in the name of protecting them—taking away the very lifeline of hope they needed in their final moments. And the battered were mercilessly abused under the enabling conditions of forced silence.
If a tree was beaten down in the forest, and you couldn’t here its cries, could you also hide its bruises?
For those in a position to help, let’s do it. Let’s open our ears to listen. We may not know exactly what to do. We may not know how to solve the problem or physically be able to help ourselves. But we can listen and offer support. We can see if there are local organizations that are qualified to help and make that connection that will change a life. We can let the voices be heard instead of remain silent. We can be positive role models and mentors. We can fight for those who are tired and can’t fight anymore.
Awareness is key to prevention. The more we know; the more we educate; the more we facilitate change—the more we can start to see this abusive pandemic start to decline and perpetrators held accountable for their inhumane actions. Let the abused be isolated no more.
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