What a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Order Means When Home Isn’t Safe: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence and IPV Service Providers
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The COVID-19 pandemic has had an immediate and deep impact on our communities, the effects of which will be felt for years to come. For vulnerable individuals in our communities, such as survivors of domestic violence (DV) or intimate partner violence (IPV) and especially survivors who are experiencing multiple forms of oppression, the pandemic has uniquely affected their help-seeking activities, their access to resources to meet their basic needs, and their overall sense of safety and stability. For survivors who are experiencing multiple forms of oppression, the pandemic has exacerbated existing social inequalities and marginalization which while not directly related to their experiences of IPV also affects their overall sense of safety and stability. Service providers at community-based domestic violence agencies have been similarly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Practical challenges to providing direct services remotely, and a decrease in their sense of self-efficacy in their work and an increase in their own sense of isolation have made providing direct services to survivors of DV/IPV difficult during this time. This increases the risk of service provider secondary trauma and burnout. Service providers who also hold marginalized identities also experience additional identity-based harm during this time, and thus have an increased risk for feeling the impacts of secondary trauma and burnout.
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