One of the most difficult things we've had to endure from the outset of the pandemic is having to isolate/quartine from friends, family and other social relationships. It's hard enough to be paranoid of every person we come in contact with who aren't living with us on a daily basis, but becoming a limited company creates or enhances several other issues. Just by doing light research online, we are now bombarded with stories of a huge rise in substance abuse and violence, which often go hand-in-hand even without a worldwide health crisis going on.
Here in my own province (Alberta), the amount of women and children seeking safety elsewhere to escape violence at home only adds to the ever-growing fear that in saving the most vulnerable right now will result in over-crowding - something that will also increase the spread of Covid. So, essentially, this group is between a rock and a hard place: one fear of having to avoid social contact with others to stay healthy but also fear of being trapped in a place that is supposed to be safe and is anything but.
There are many online resources for those seeking help, both to find better ways of coping with the anxiety and stress of living in our new world, but ways to reach out when immediate help is needed. Maintaining ultimate control through fear is one of the main components of an abuser's intentions and the way we must live right now gives that to them...or so they may believe.
I saw a commercial the other day from the Woman's Foundation of Canada. In it, a woman is video chatting with a friend. Seems innocent enough, right? The woman was asking her friend about a recipe for banana bread, but we quickly see that the recipe wasn't the purpose for the chat. We see a man walking in the background and the woman gives her friend a signal to indicate she's in trouble. (Watch the video below). What a brilliant way to send out a quiet 'SOS' in a subtle way.
This commercial touched me in a very deep way as if there had been internet access or cell phones decades ago, so many women and children would have been able to ask for help without making the situation worse before that help arrived.
I have written for this foundation several times as I have witnessed abused, saved others from it and experienced it myself. If you know someone who needs help but is scared to reach out, please pass this information on to him or her as a way to let you know to send assistance. Give someone a voice to isn't strong enough to use their own. You might even save a life.
Yes, we will get through these uncertain times together. Let's make sure we all get through as safely as we can.