While Most People Are Safe During Quarantine, The Abused Are In Danger.
Why would that be so? It’s because the lifeline of an abuse victim is outside contact. Isolation is harmful in so many ways. It leaves a victim open to excessive control, mind games, lack of education, and resources. That is how cults gain control over their followers is through isolation. Strange beliefs and practices or behavior can be introduced in an isolated environment because there is no outside interference, and the victims sometimes don’t have any knowledge that any of this is wrong.
The Most Vulnerable
When a child goes to school, at least for the majority of the day, the child is away from an abusive home life. He/she has access to the wonderful, caring teachers, friends, and extra curricular activities that are so needed. Unless, of course, the abuser is a teacher, counselor, or a school yard bully, then the quarantine is a benefit to an abused child. Under a quarantine, most children who are abused are sitting ducks for extra abuse at home. Some children have learning disorders or behavioral disorders. For the first time, parents are experiencing the challenges of teaching their children at home. School is cancelled. The education must go on some way. Some schools have started classes online, but even then, parents need to help the child with questions or homework. An abusive parent may or not be willing or able to do that, or get frustrated/angry when the child doesn’t understand.
It is the same thing with a woman who is in an abusive situation, who finds solace in going to work for 8 hours. When an abuse victim is quarantined like the rest of the world, she is usually being quarantined with the abuser. Some choices or freedoms she had before are reduced to zero at this time. With unemployment happening at unheard of levels, stress continues to climb with lack of resources. Brainwashing, verbal abuse, and physical abuse could escalate at home under these conditions. While landlords and mortgage companies are not allowed to evict anyone during this time, being trapped at home with no where to go is hard to bear. Being with your abuser 24/7, means there is no opportunity to escape, except maybe when the abuser is asleep, taking a shower, or taking short trips to the grocery store.
Business As Usual At My House
Right now, I am facilitating a Mending The Soul group with a few precious ladies. We are on the Zoom platform for the time being. This is the only “me” time these ladies have to decompress. Each lady is experiencing not only past abuse, but current challenges as well, which include parenting special needs children. Being isolated from the outside world is much harder on them than it is for me. I am glad we have time together every week to meet and go through the curriculum in the book, as well as giving them time to vent, get some much needed coping skills, and maybe laugh a little bit. They really need it right now.
There are many facilitators starting groups on line right now for those in need.
So What Can We Do To Help?
Your help is most needed at this critical time. Some things you can do:
- Offer a safe place to stay for someone who needs to escape quickly.
- If you can foster a pet as well, that is very helpful! Most victims will not leave if they have to leave a pet behind.
- The local shelters are open and ready for abuse victims who need them. Perhaps give someone a ride to a shelter.
- Give money (if you are able) to organizations that help abuse victims, like a local shelter near you.
- If you don’t have money to give, perhaps drop off food, supplies, and coloring books, games, and books to your local shelter, or even to an abuse victim that you know.
- Get in touch with Mending The Soul to connect an abuse victim with a group. For more information on MTS, please check out the website at mendingthesoul.org .
- Be in prayer for an abuse victim you know. He/she is in need of God’s strength more than ever.