LOS ANGELES – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep many people in their homes, anti-domestic violence advocates such as Indrani Goradia are worried that our new reality has created a more volatile situation for those living with an abusive partner. Goradia travels the world speaking on women's health issues and is herself an abuse survivor.
“It was physical, it was emotional, it was mental,” said Goradia. “However, I didn't know it was abuse. I thought I deserved it until I had a child.”
Goradia says she was about to pass on the abuse to her child, but with her partner she worked through it and stopped the cycle of violence.
“Many don't think it's abuse,” she said. “It's hard to accept the person who should love you the most is the person from whom the greatest danger is coming.”
At the same time, the forced isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic takes victims out of the public sphere and potentially helpful eyes, making it difficult to escape the control and scrutiny of an abuser.
Patty Giggans, CEO and executive director of Peace Over Violence, says their centers have been receiving more calls for assistance…
“…from people concerned about how they how can they stay at home, and be safe because they're afraid to go anywhere else,” said Giggans.
Both Goradia and Giggans recommend that those experiencing abuse should familiarize themselves with how to physically protect themselves during attacks, and to also have an action plan should the situation reach a crisis point.
“A bag ready with important papers, their cell phone charger, their cell phone should be charged all the time if they feel that they have to get out,” said Giggans. “And, of course, we tell people if you need to call 911, do that.”
While Peace Over Violence has experienced an increase in calls, Giggans predicts a greater spike will happen after the pandemic lifts and people are more free to move about more freely. Goradia says that may be a good time to ask some hard questions.
“Is this the life I want to live when I get out of this situation?” said Goradia. “What am I going to do differently so that when the next pandemic comes, I am in a different place?”
Indrani Goradia also reminds us that the monster of abuse and violence takes many forms and that the best approach is to constantly stay one step ahead.
Peace Over Violence Call Centers:
- Central Los Angeles: 213-626-3393
- South Los Angeles: 310-392-8381
- West San Gabriel Valley: 626-793-3385
You can also visit Indrani Goradia's website.