“I think it’s an under count. I think that there are more people who have been murdered by their partner in Tarrant County and we just don’t know about it yet,” Kathryn Jacob, who runs SafeHaven of Tarrant County, said. “I think that it is entirely possible that other people have died and we don’t even know where the bodies are.”
While lockdown orders have been lifted in North Texas, the pandemic’s effects continue to give rise to a secondary public health threat of increasing domestic violence, advocates say.
As people continue to limit activities outside the home, victims are more exposed to their abusive partners, who may use the coronavirus as tool to further control their victim and restrict their movements. Work and social lives remain disrupted, and many victims first report abuse to co-workers and friends.
Increased health anxieties coupled with economic pressure are stressors that can act as added fuel to already combustible relationships.
“That’s why, on social media, we’ve constantly been telling people, ‘Check on your friends,’” Jacob said. “You’re not going to see people at church. You’re not going to see people at the grocery store, or at the mall, or at a party.”