Domestic violence is the “shadow pandemic”
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As the pandemic captured headlines, domestic violence increased so much it's now referred to as the "shadow pandemic."
Reports of domestic violence are expected to increase even more as life returns to normal, according to Rachna Krishnan, CEO and Executive Director of The Women's Center, which Leidos sponsors and supports through volunteerism. The center defines domestic violence as behavior used to maintain power and control over others.
From the source: "When we first hit COVID, everyone was in lockdown mode, so opportunities to make that call for help were greatly diminished,” Krishnan said. “We expect that as kids go back to school and people head back to the office, we're going to see even more calls."
How to help: Allison Medina, who oversees the center’s domestic and sexual violence programs, said there's many ways to support someone who comes to you for help.
- “Offer to call a hotline with them or watch their kids,” Medina said. “Stay in regular contact. Make sure they understand the abuse is not their fault.”
She added employers can help by offering flexible work schedules for court appointments, therapy and support meetings.
- “Anyone is at risk,” she said. “Men can also be victims of domestic violence, and abuse can take many forms including physical, sexual, emotional or psychological.”
If you have concerns about domestic violence, call or text the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).