We facing a new way of living. Coronavirus keeping us indoors, our mental health deteriorating. We feel more and more claustrophobic and fragile. Many people lost their income, businesses are collapsing, people are getting fired or redundant. We have been asked to change our ways of living. That’s understandable and necessary, not easy but we all do, what we have to do.

But I would like to look into this lockdown from a different perspective. A few days ago I was taking part in a webinar on coping and managing anxiety by Suzanne Zeedyke. Later on, today, talking to my amazing teammates from work I realised that this whole situation has two sides. I realised that for many people being out of work or just staying at home going through hell. Why?

Domestic abuse victims

Being a victim of domestic abuse must feel on lockdown like hell on earth. Can you imagine being stuck 24/7 with your perpetrator, walking on eggshells, being permanently scared, being unable to take a breath and feel safe being away from a household?

What’s domestic abuse?

It’s a pattern of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and/or violent behaviour, including sexual violence, by a partner or ex-partner. Domestic abuse is overwhelmingly experienced by women and perpetrated by men. It doesn’t matter how old someone is, what race or ethnicity they are, what class they are, whether or not they are disabled, or whether they have children – anyone can be a victim of abuse.

Women’s Aid

So now think about being a victim, who’s has been asked to stay indoors, where danger is a permanent state of fear. Many children are safer in schools, as today’s research shows that perpetrators are usually someone whose the victim is familiar with. I guess this shows us that idea of Stranger-Danger is really out of the window.

How would you feel being asked to stay home, unable to take a break from the person who scares you the most? No one can visit, no one can take you out for a coffee and a chat. If you’re abused child, you probably wish to get coronavirus and get into a hospital to leave your perpetrator. I am getting tearful just thinking about it, on top perpetrator might feel invincible, inviolable.

On top of that, the perpetrator is also asked to stay home, not giving a chance to a victim for 8 to 9 hours time to breath and feel less anxious. This is truly torture for any person. Situation without a happy end, unfortunately. 24 hours of being tense, anxious, can destroy anyone, push victims beyond their limits.

Can you put yourself in this position? Just try to imagine. being a victim, asked to stay indoors, fearing every minute of it.

If you suspect that someone is a victim of domestic abuse, someone might be in danger in these difficult times, having very short temper partner, if you hear shouting or crying please be vigilant and don’t ignore it. Let’s keep in touch with people we think might be at risk, let’s try to help them and make them feel safe and heard. If needed, act, don’t assume that you can’t do anything. Many people and many children are now at risk. Don’t turn your head away. Let’s check on each other.

If you are worried about someone you know, get in touch with Scotland’s 24 hour Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline on 0800 027 1234 who can help you to talk through your options.