I have come to realize that misfortune will always be accompanied by other misfortunes and this is what is depicted with this COVID 19 pandemic. Domestic and gender-based violence and depression culminating in suicide have been on the rise and it is no longer about the virus but coping with each other amid the stress brought about by this stay home thing. Figure out living in fear of the person you live together under one roof. How would life be if each day we are victims of criticism, name-calling, and physical violence from those we love? This pandemic has forced many people to suffer sexual harassment, assault, exploitation, and many other harms at their homes from domestic violent extremists. The case of a 16-year-old Kenyan woman held captive by a man for four days and sexually assaulted reveals some of the crimes orchestrated during this global pandemic. Luckily, the woman was rescued by neighbors and is now being cared for in a safe house in Nairobi. The attacker reportedly said he kidnapped her because he needed a female company to get through the government-imposed COVID-19 lockdown.
It is a perfect time to thrive because, during this time, home is the only place people can feel safe.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, people worldwide, are facing calls to self-isolate to stop the spread of the disease. Most people have been forced to stay at home to achieve social distance but unfortunately, economic constraints and stress arising from financial challenges have spiked physical abuse, sexual offenses, and domestic violence turning homes into battlefields. Domestic violence affects people of all ages, genders, sexualities, cultures, and levels of income. It’s not a problem directed solely at women, although they are statistically more likely to experience domestic violence than men. Therefore, as we continue fighting this plague, we ought not to forget those living in such dangerous situations. Anyone experiencing domestic violence should be able to access immediate and appropriate support rather than remaining trapped with their abusers for weeks which may result in anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and self-harm. As much as the restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to make it harder for domestic abuse survivors to report or even seek help and for service providers to respond efficiently, let us not wait for things to get out of control. We can always reach out to relevant authorities to curb the situation. This stay home season presents a rare opportunity to strengthen family ties. Not only are the children at home but also the parents are free from their busy schedules. Therefore, this is the perfect time for love, not hate, a perfect time for peace, not war. It is a perfect time to thrive because, during this time, home is the only place people can feel safe. Let us learn to accommodate each other, live in peacemaking our homes the best place to live in.