The Impact of Lockdown on Domestic Violence
FOUR PAWS' Guide for Animal Lovers
The measures which have been put in place to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19), such as the order to stay at home, can be frustrating for some, but for those in fear of/or experiencing domestic abuse, it can be an extremely anxious and frightening time.
During lockdown, many people are working shorter hours or from home. Children are at home because playgrounds, nurseries and schools are closed. Most families are having to spend time together day and night and are dealing with fears about their security, their health, and their future. Not everyone is up to this mental and emotional "challenge" and experts have warned of an expected increase in domestic violence as lockdowns continue.
Experience shows that in these situations, pets are also the victims of domestic violence. They can be beaten, kicked or even tortured to release an abuser’s anger or to exert emotional or psychological pressure on partners or family members, giving the abuser power. The consequences of domestic violence are traumatic for the victims, human and animals alike.
What to do when violence is suspected
- Animals screaming/howling more often
- Family members shouting at partners to leave the animal alone
- Children crying when the animal suffers audibly
- Animals appearing injured when in the garden or out on walks (if you already suspect domestic abuse)
Some animal welfare charities and shelters will take in animals who need temporary accommodation due to domestic violence and anyone experiencing domestic abuse should consider temporarily rehoming their pets while they seek help to address the situation.