12 May Home Unsafe
With Dexter Musgrave and I both being impacted by the horrible stories coming out on the flip side of social distancing, him, Sharron and myself decided to figure out how we could sum this up in the best way we know how; creatively.
Can changing one word in these flippantly used cosy catchphrases capture just a portion of what staying home means to the vulnerable in our society?
There’s No Pain Like Home
It’s supposed to be the best ‘place’ on earth, but some of us can only associate home with pain. Leaving home to go to work, school, or out with friends is not a release; it’s a relief. The IDB states “Evidence worldwide has shown that domestic abuse cases are increasing due to the confinement measures that tend to reinforce abusive behaviour. Isolated, anxious and stressed from loss of wages, potential abusers who find themselves without an outlet, may become more aggressive, searching for means of power and control. The lockdown makes leaving the house and seeking help a luxury for potential victims of family violence.”
Home Is Where The Hurt Is.
Behind the picture-perfect posts, quarantine life hashtags and recipe photos a heart full of hurt hides. The New York Times describes domestic violence as “an opportunistic infection, flourishing in the conditions created by the pandemic.” In my small island of Trinidad & Tobago the commissioner of police, Gary Griffith, reported that the overall figure for (domestic assaults) reports for 2019 was 232 – but it is already 558 this year. Scary statistics as we move into an extended 15-day period of social distancing measures.
Cruelty Begins At Home
When figuring out to cook and what to watch on Netflix are your biggest “home” problems, that’s a privilege. For some children, the words “Daddy’s home!” is quite terrifying while many women are living their own horror series with new episodes daily. The UK’s largest domestic abuse charity, Refuge, has reported a 700% increase in calls to its helpline in a single day after the start of the Covid-19 lockdown.
While doing our part to flatten the curve, please look out for neighbours and friends while respecting social distancing. Look for physical and emotional signs. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence at home, please call the domestic violence hotline in your country: visit:
(Special shoutout to The IDB for this powerful article.)