These are tough times. And sadly, one public health crisis doesn't stop for another.

This includes domestic and intimate partner violence, which is drastically increasing during the course of this pandemic. Practicing social distancing and staying home is great for reducing the spread of COVID-19, but for many people, staying home isn’t always the safest option. People in a violent relationship are 500% more likely to die in a domestic violence situation when a gun is present. This is especially scary right now because people have been stockpiling and hoarding guns in their homes in response to the pandemic.


We know a hotline isn’t a perfect solution, but it really can help in moments of crisis.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

1−800−799−7233

National Domestic Violence Online Chat

Text LOVEIS to 22522

National Domestic Violence Online Chat eñ Español

Llame al 1-800-799-7233 o 1-800-799-7233 por teléfono de texto, o si no puede hablar de manera segura, puede iniciar sesión en thehotline.org or enviar un mensaje de texto con “AMORES” al 22522.

Domestic violence doesn’t always look like explicit physical violence. Here’s how COVID-19 could uniquely impact intimate partner violence survivors, from our friends at the National Domestic Violence Hotline:

  • Abusive partners may share misinformation about the pandemic to control or frighten survivors, or to prevent them from seeking appropriate medical attention if they have symptoms.
  • Abusive partners may withhold or threaten to withhold healthcare information and access.
  • Programs that serve survivors may be significantly impacted –- shelters may be full or may even stop intakes altogether. 
  • Survivors who are older or have chronic heart or lung conditions may be at increased risk in public places where they would typically get support, like shelters, counseling centers, or courthouses.
  • Travel restrictions may impact a survivor’s escape or safety plan.
  • An abusive partner may feel more justified and escalate their isolation tactics.

If any of the above sound like they may be happening to you or someone you love, here are a few suggestions for survivors that may make them feel a little bit safer, from the National Domestic Violence Hotline:


Create a safety plan.
A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that includes ways to remain safe while in a relationship, planning to leave, or after you leave. The National Domestic Violence Hotline will safety plan with victims, friends, family members, and anyone who is concerned about their own safety or the safety of someone else. Because there may be limited shelter availability due to COVID-19, consider alternatives such as staying with family or friends, staying in motels, or sleeping in your vehicle. Be extra mindful of good hygiene practices if you’re leaving as well – wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, minimize contact with surfaces that other people have had contact with, etc.
Practice self-care.
Taking time for your health and wellness can make a big difference in how you feel. To learn more about how to build in self-care while staying safe, you can learn more here.
Reach out for help.
While people are encouraged to stay at home, you may feel isolated from your friends and family. Even if you are isolated, try to maintain social connections online or over the phone, if it is safe to do so, and try to stick to your daily routines as much as possible.

You are not alone.

END GUN VIOLENCE.

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