Reaction to COVID-19 can be anything from fright to fight.
The pandemic has weighed heavily on individuals, couples and families. Restrictions on social interaction to help minimize the spread of the virus has taxed the mental health of many a Chatham-Kent resident, some to the point of violence, often against a loved one.
November is Intimate Partner Violence Awareness Month, and this year, Victim Services personnel say they’ve seen an uptick in such violence.
Common assault is on the rise too, unfortunately.
And human trafficking just goes on and on.
That’s true in Chatham-Kent and other parts of Ontario. We’ve seen the violence; you can see the charges in the daily police briefs on our website. Emotions are spilling over into people’s fists.
It’s tragic that anyone is beat upon, let alone a loved one. But abuse is more than just physical. Emotional abuse can keep someone trapped in a relationship as well.
That is especially true in human trafficking. Relationships are forcefully forged together based on trauma. The victims are controlled to the point it takes upwards of seven attempts for someone to eventually break free.
It’s a terrible mental and physical ordeal.
In all cases and kinds of abuse, we can do better, whether you are in a relationship and are tempted to let your pandemic-related frustrations boil over and take it out on a loved one, or you know of people in tough situations.
Help one another. Talk it out. Seek counselling.
An abusive partner may act jealous, may be demeaning and attempt to humiliate you in front of others. And that’s without the fists taking their toll. Violence is but one aspect of abuse.
If you are being abused, seek help. Reach out to Victim Services or the Chatham-Kent Women’s Centre.
If you think a friend has been abused, stay in touch however they wish. Offer support. Don’t judge; believe.
Unless you believe their life is in danger, don’t do anything without their consent. Also, respect their privacy.
Help, but don’t become overbearing to the point of hindering.
Abuse is an unfortunate reality for too many Canadians. COVID-19 is only exacerbating the situation, but support is there.