Guest written by Missy Modell, a musical parody artist and activist focused on the intersection of social justice and pop culture. Missy is the founder of YES MAM Creative, a consultancy for mission-based brands. You can find Missy on Instagram at @missymodell.
TRIGGER WARNING: This blog contains language around abuse and violence.
When the world went into lockdown in 2020, it was a safety measure for communities to stop the spread and limit exposure. However, while serving as a method of protection, there were also some unintentional and negative consequences. While everyone was advised to stay home, for some individuals, home was not a safe place to live. Close quarters, social isolation, and limited occasions to leave the household during a very stressful time has drastically raised the rates of domestic violence within the world, many of whom are calling it the “invisible pandemic”.
- The Rise of Pandemic-Related Violence
- Domestic Violence Hotlines & Support
- The Lovers Artist Series: Valentine's Day Edition
- Surprising Statistics on Domestic Violence
The National Domestic Abuse helpline has seen a 25% increase in calls and online requests for help since the lockdown, according to the organization. States such as Alabama and Oregon saw over a 20% increase within the month of March 2020 alone.
While domestic violence has unfortunately always occurred, factors such as: a global pandemic, growing unemployment, financial stress, and increased anxiety has made these climates even more unsafe and toxic. Lockdowns have also made it difficult for resources to be used towards those in need of leaving a housing situation.
“Domestic Violence usually occurs in a domestic space when one individual holds power over another,” as defined by the National Hotline for Domestic Violence whether it is over a partner(s), children, or other members within a household.
The pandemic lockdown has disrupted routine and spaces within domestic lives, forcing many to stay home from their jobs, social activities, and school. The most at risk individuals include women, children, and the LGBTQ+ community.
"The economic challenges of the pandemic have hit same-sex couples especially hard, with members of the LGBTQ community likelier to be employed in highly affected industries like education, restaurants, hospitals and retail, according to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. That means higher stress and, concomitantly, the higher risk that that stress will explode into violence," Time Magazine reports.
The pandemic has shifted the ways that we communicate and can seek help. Technology is essential for reaching out to individuals, resources, and more to help resolve situations. Contacting a hotline isn’t only for reporting incidents, but can help someone plan a route to safety or provide support.
At Lovers, the safety and wellbeing of humans is of utmost importance and urgency. This year, we have created The Lovers Artist Series: Valentine's Day Edition, a celebration of all the many forms of connection. It features the commissioned work of five visual artists. Lovers has commissioned this diverse group to create illustrations that make these special cards into limited edition works of art.
100% of the proceeds from this project will be donated to non-profit organizations that support survivors of domestic violence. Lovers is proud to support the work of six non-profit organizations that support survivors of domestic violence. 100% of the proceeds from Lovers Artist Series: Valentine's Day Edition will be donated equally among these organizations. Lovers will donate an additional $500 to participating non-profits at the conclusion of the sales period.
Meet Lovers Artist Series Participating Non-Profits:
- Raphael House
- Peace Over Violence
- The Family Place
- The Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- The Family Justice Center of Greater Memphis & Shelby
- According to the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, domestic violence cases increased by 25-33% percent globally in 2020.
- In the U.S., the situation is equally troubling, with police departments reporting increases in cities around the country: for example, 18% in San Antonio, 22% in Portland, Ore.; and 10% in New York City, according to the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.
- The economic challenges of the pandemic have hit same-sex couples especially hard, with members of the LGBTQ community likelier to be employed in highly affected industries like education, restaurants, hospitals and retail, according to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. That means higher stress and, concomitantly, the higher risk that that stress will explode into violence.
- Nearly 7 in 10 women said domestic violence increased in their community since the pandemic began, according to a survey by the United Nations agency for gender equality of 13 countries, including Jordan, which concluded in September. One in four women said they feel less safe at home during the pandemic. The unemployed, left dependent on the men in their lives, face an increased risk for abuse at a time when women are more likely to have lost jobs and been unable to regain them.
Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube: @LoversStores
National Domestic Violence Hotline Resources: Family & Youth Services Bureau
Double Pandemic: Domestic Violence During COVID: Council on Foreign Relations
Shadow Pandemic: Violence Against Women During COVID: UN Women