Sometimes the only respite they have is when their abuser leaves the house.
If you read that sentence and somebody you know popped into your head, that is either something you already know, or your intuition talking to you.
When you hear stories told by victims of any number of types of abuse, they speak of isolation and privacy being opportunities for their abusers to strike. Being able to access their victim in a sexual way, or to commit other types of violence can make for a horrifying situation.
Escaping the antagonist is sometimes the only relief these victims get. Even if it is only temporarily for work or school, or some other place the abused feel safe. In the time of Covid-19, families and couples are facing long stretches of self-isolation and not a small amount of cabin fever. Even the most mentally healthy and stable families can find themselves unable to cope with the constant proximity of their children and even elders.
When there is already dysfunction rolling through the house, being stuck together could make everything worse. There are spousal abusers, pedophiles, and the ones who get their kicks out of starving elderly family members who have unlimited access to those they abuse. They are living in a powder keg together, things will go wrong.
We are all feeling pretty helpless in the wake of this worldwide pandemic already. Unless you have great medications or are a complete ignoramus, you are probably freaked out by a fast-moving disease that kills people randomly and viciously. Imagine dealing with a serious threat right in your home, as well.
What can we do? Check on your people.
Text, call, social media, whatever works. If you can do a video call of any sort, you might be able to see better how they are doing.
Now what? That is the tricky part. Interventions are incredibly dangerous, especially when the interference can make things worse. Realistically you can’t show up in their driveway and save them, not usually anyway. The most you can hope for is that when you make contact with your friend or family member is that they feel more loved and supported. Give them a chance to signal you for help even if their abuser is in the room. It sounds dramatic, but these situations aren’t easy to navigate and sometimes they can be explosive.
More than likely you won’t find out anything and your suspicions will remain just that, and a low burning sick feeling that there is something going on.
Check on them anyway.