|By Sian Norris|
Alison’s balcony offers her a small degree of distance from her partner, whose behaviour has become increasingly erratic since the coronavirus crisis began. For the estimated 1.6 million women who experienced domestic abuse in England and Wales last year, home isn’t a place of safety. Rather than a chance to catch up on a boxset or long delayed DIY project, self isolation for women in coercive or violent relationships means being trapped indoors with your abuser.
Alison assures me her partner won’t hurt her. “He’s had these episodes before,” she tells me over a messaging app, referring to bouts of heavy drinking that have intensified since the government introduced social distancing measures. “But he’s the worst I’ve known him for a long time.” She connects her partner’s moods with the pandemic. He “gets angry with me for being super careful about wiping things down and insisting he washes his hands,” she explains. “He thinks I’m being over the top. He’s angry with me for acting like a ‘mad person’, and calls me paranoid. But he’s putting my health at risk, too.”
*Names have been changed.
Continue reading @ the Guardian.