Surviving domestic violence during a pandemic

Apr 14, 2020, 2:44 PM | Updated: 7:29 pm
domestic violence signs surviving domestic violence...
FILE PHOTO (Image credit: Getty Images.)
(Image credit: Getty Images.)

SALT LAKE CITY — The stay-at-home measures implemented during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic have created additional stresses for families and have increased the number of domestic violence calls to police. In Utah County, calls related to domestic violence have shot up by 75%. 

Where does someone go when they find themselves locked inside with their abuser?

Licensed Clinical Psychologist Dr. Liz Hale, told Let’s Get Moving Host Maria Shilaos, there are many options victims have to help them survive domestic violence at this time.

Hale stresses self-care is one of the most important things that someone who is struggling with domestic violence can do during a pandemic. She advises you to keep moving and focusing on your well being.

“Motion is one of the best ways to deal with emotion,” Hale said. “Flexibility is truly the key to mental health, be willing to give and to take.”

All of the strain being put onto ourselves and our families due to the pandemic may be a trigger for some domestic violence situations.

“Someone who is in that situation, living with an abuser, male/female, old/young, it comes in every size and shape sadly. They are surviving every day,” said Hale. “You can’t make a decision for someone else but you can encourage their well-being.”

Reaching out by phone while we social distance is a very important measure to check on loved ones who may be in need, according to Hale.

For those currently in domestic violence situations, Hale says there are a few things to keep in mind.

Create a safety plan

“Leaving is probably the most dangerous,” said Hale. “Think that plan out.”

“Have a safety plan when there is an explosive incident,” Hale said. “Maybe that means having a bag packed and ready, keeping your phone with you at all times, maybe devise a code word that you tell others if you need to flee or call the police.”

“Write down and document the times of abuse and what happened,” Hale said. “Trust  your judgment.”

“That person on the front lines, they need to consider anything and everything that will keep them safe,” Hale said. “Sometimes it is best to leave, sometimes it is best to stay and placate the abuser.”

Plan where to go

It is important to seek alternatives and ask yourself ‘where am I going to go, when I do go?’

Hale said there are a variety of places to go in dangerous situations, including:



Staying with family or friends 

Dr. Hale says that domestic violence victims have sharpened instincts and are some of the most aware people she has worked with.

“They live it day in and day out. They can feel what’s about to go up, they know what’s going to set somebody off,” said Hale.”They’ve really learned how to fashion themselves in such a way to try and stay safe and to keep their kids safe.”

Abuse can look like many things, resulting in one having power and control over another person. And new to that list is a new virus that has everybody asking a lot of questions.

“COVID-19 is one more external force an abuser can use over his victims in an already stressful time,” said Hale. “They can share misinformation, can use the pandemic to prevent them from seeing family members.”

According to Hale, it’s simple for those who are not in domestic violence situations to say ‘just leave,’ however, an abusive relationship is not a black and white situation.

Dr. Hale mentions there’s more support for victims of domestic violence than ever before. If you, or someone you know, is suffering from domestic violence, there are resources to be utilized.

“You are not alone. You can get educated and you can get away. There are people to help you,” said Dr. Hale.


National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

TEXT ‘love is’ to 22522


Utah Domestic Violence Link Line: 1-800-897-5465

Listen to the full episode:

Follow Let’s Get Moving on Facebook on Instagram for more exclusive content.

Today’s Top Stories


Those planning herb gardens in Utah should focus on five specific plants -- basil, parsley, chives,...
Michelle Lee

Planning herb gardens in Utah? Here are 5 must-haves!

Basil tops the list of recommendations when planning herb gardens according to USU Extension horticulturist Sheriden Hansen.
10 hours ago
Indoor Plants Image...
Carlos Artiles Fortun

KSL Greenhouse: How to manage houseplant pests

This time of the year it can be easy for houseplant pests to enter your house while you are protecting your plants for winter.
11 days ago
On the latest episode of the KSL Greenhouse Show, hosts Maria Shialos and Taun Beddes discuss the ...
Carlos Artiles Fortun

Transitioning plants indoors for the winter

On the latest episode of the KSL Greenhouse Show, hosts Maria Shialos and Taun Beddes discuss the best way to transfer plants indoors slowly for better acclamation.
13 days ago
Prepare your motorized lawn equipment for winter storage....
Carlos Artiles Fortun

Prepare your motorized lawn equipment for winter storage

On the latest episode of the KSL Greenhouse Show, hosts Maria Shialos and Taun Beddes give you some tips on preparing your motorized lawn equipment for winter storage.
19 days ago
Taun Beddes, host of KSL Greenhouse explains how to best take care of our trees and keep them healt...
Carlos Artiles Fortun

Tree wrapping, why you should protect trees for the winter

Taun Beddes, host of KSL Greenhouse explains how to best take care of our trees and keep them healthy during the winter.
24 days ago
Jaydee Gunnell, professor at USU, joined the KSL Greenhouse show to discuss why we should be pulli...
Carlos Artiles Fortun

Time to pull annuals and cut back perennials

Jaydee Gunnell, professor at USU, joined the KSL Greenhouse show to discuss why we should be cutting back perennials.
26 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Surviving domestic violence during a pandemic