COVID-19 and the Rise in Domestic Violence

The New York Post published an article highlighting increased domestic violence since the Covid pandemic started.

The article notes that some agencies who deal with domestic violence have seen double and triple the number of cases. Some specific numbers include:

  • The number of cases Met Council dealt with went from 70 per month, to 135 in April, 145 in May, and 156 in June
  • Sanctuary for Families received 206 calls in May 2020, compared to 102 calls in May 2019; they also received 259 calls in June 2020, compared to 73 call in June 2019
  • The most recent NYC budget saw a $1 million cut to domestic violence programs

These statistics have not gone unnoticed at The Floating Hospital. In fact, it came up in a recent interview between Director of Behavioral Health, Dr. Igda Martinez, and Joanna James. Joanna is the director/producer of the web series, Save Restaurants, Feed Heroes, which featured our friend and supporter, Chef Maria Loi.


As unemployment during Covid-19 increased, so did violence against women and children. As Dr. Martinez notes in the interview, “on lockdown, being sheltered in place in the home, with your partner or with the children, it just creates a very stressful situation.”

The increase in reports of domestic violence calls attention to the need for appropriate support for the victims. Nonprofits staffed with qualified behavioral health providers are struggling, but their work is more important than ever.

The United Nations calls COVID-related domestic violence against women, which increased around the globe, a “shadow pandemic.” Recognizing the magnitude of the problem and the toll it takes on families and communities is an important first step in helping to bring an end to domestic violence.

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The Floating Hospital provides high-quality healthcare to anyone who needs it regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, immigration or insurance status, or the ability to pay. By providing unrestricted medical care in tandem with health education and social support to vulnerable New York City families, The Floating Hospital aims to ensure those most in need have the ability to thrive, not just survive.


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