“Stay home, stay safe” could be the bumper sticker for 2020 — but it’s very much a mantra for the privileged. For thousands of people across the nation, staying healthy through sheltering in place comes at the nightmarish expense of remaining in a violent or unsafe living situation.
The victims of the pandemic are not limited to those who have fallen ill with the virus — quarantine conditions create the perfect environment for an increase in domestic violence and intimate partner violence (IPV) — both physical and non-physical. Always higher during periods when families spend more time together, such as holidays or summer vacation, abuse has spiked during lockdown conditions, as victims are constantly exposed to their abusers.
A social worker at one client site reported supporting and delivering resources to five new domestic cases in the past week, a significant increase from her typical case load.
To respond to increased need and at the initiation of one of their clinical partners, Babyscripts has released new safety resources to help care teams support their vulnerable patients. These resources offer guidance on what domestic violence or abuse can look like, how to develop a safety plan, how to practice self-care, and how to seek help. The resource links to local and national organizations that offer support services to those facing an unsafe home environment. The care teams also have the ability to add in practice and location-specific information.
The problem of domestic violence is not one particular to lockdown, and even as social distancing restrictions lift, Babyscripts will continue to support the needs of vulnerable women living in abusive and unsafe environments.
Long before pandemic conditions made the need for safety resources acute, Babyscripts has worked to connect women and children in unsafe living environments with necessary aid. Babyscripts addresses social determinants of health such as partner abuse through a unique coordination between the entire care team — provider teams, payers, and community organizations — that is facilitated through Babyscripts technology. Through risk-screening assessments remotely delivered through a mobile app, Babyscripts enables barriers to care and connects mothers to needed resources — preventing negative outcomes by providing patients with information from their care team. A bi-directional chat function enables a continuous connection between the care team and patient to address these risks, as well as provide critical social support for isolated patients.
In times of crisis, it’s the vulnerable who suffer most. Now more than ever we need to support those for whom staying home does not guarantee staying safe.