by Kara Lewis // The Pitch

As stay-at-home orders intensify and coronavirus cases in Missouri continue to climb, quarantine hasn’t been easy for anyone. But for those facing domestic violence, the situation presents a unique, all-encompassing terror.

While self-isolating with your immediate household remains the most recommended precaution against coronavirus, isolation also stands out as a common tactic in establishing abusive dynamics. According to the organization loveisrespect, sponsored by The National Domestic Violence Hotline, isolation and exclusion help abusers facilitate a “power and control wheel.” Quarantine only further compounds this cycle.

“At this point, victims are isolated from work, family, friends and others who may be a support system,” explained Courtney Thomas, president and CEO of Kansas City’s Newhouse Shelter. “With the quarantine in place, victims are stuck at home full-time with their abusers. This creates a very challenging predicament where victims are unable to go to a private place to ask for help. It also escalates the probability of abuse should an abuser believe a victim is trying to reach out or escape.”

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