Even during normal times, circumstances exist which make it difficult for domestic abuse victims to separate from their abusers.

Now imagine how much more precarious the situation becomes when a new set of circumstances develop and the government urges you to remain at home almost exclusively and avoid physical contact with others. For all too many victims, adults and children alike, that home is also inhabited by their abuser, and increased time together only opens up a greater possibility of increased abuse.

A rise in domestic abuse has been detected both locally and nationally during the coronavirus crisis and the resulting shelter in place edicts, and this should be in no way surprising. It is also not surprising that the good people at Harbor House are doing their utmost to help these victims through the limited means currently available.

As reported by Stephanie Markham in the Thursday edition of the Daily Journal, the local Harbor House has created an online chat hotline which will allow victims to reach out for remote help. There is really only one other remote option for them at this time, and that’s to pick up the phone and call. Of course, if the abuser hears the conversation, the victim faces the possibility of further abuse.

The online option is not full proof either, as there are ways abusers can track the online activity of their victims. But it does add an extra layer of protection because verbal communication is absent. Furthermore, Harbor House advocates will brief people at the start of the internet interaction to warn them of spying concerns.

The “together alone’’ concept has been championed during this pandemic. It might be a hard concept to grasp, but the efforts of Harbor House help bring it into clearer view. The organization’s work is vital and appreciated, particularly at this time.

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