Domestic Violence in 2020
With stay at home orders keeping partners indoors together, stress levels and emotional issues have spiked leading to an increase in domestic violence in many major cities across the United States. In Portland, Oregon, between the dates of March 12th to 23rd, the city saw a 27% increase in domestic violence cases than the same period of time in 2019. Boston, Massachusetts had a 22% increase in domestic assault and battery cases in the entire month of March 2020 when compared to the same month in 2019. During this same period of time Seattle, Washington saw a 21% increase year over year.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline has even larger numbers than this. The Hotline has seen a 101% increase in reported digital abuse from 2019 to 2020, a major explosion of cases. While domestic violence has seen increases, digital abuse seems to have reached an entirely new level. Digital abuse is defined as bullying, stalking, harassing, or stalking through the use of texting and social media.
The unfortunate issue of the matter with these startling increases, is that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are stuck at home with their abusers without having outlets to leave or stay somewhere else long term. With many shelters having to close up, or at best, remain open with significant capacity reductions, the support system for victims of all types of abuse have been limited. This is why the partnership between Bumble and The Hotline has become more important over the course of the year.
Bumble and National Domestic Violence Hotline Partnership
The partnership between Bumble and The Hotline will focus mainly on the nonprofit’s newest initiative, “love is respect.” However, this is not the first time the two have intertwined in the past. During March of this year, Bumble had donated $100,000 to The Hotline in order to support the nonprofit’s ongoing efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bumble has also done work outside of The Hotline to help prevent online abuse. In 2019, the dating app company helped draft state legislation in Texas which made the unsolicited sending of nude or lewd images to a person punishable by law. The measure passed later that year and became law in September of 2019.
Returning to the partnership, Bumble’s main contributions for the “love is respect” initiative will be spreading awareness and some level of financial support as a sponsor, though the details remain unclear. The “love is respect” campaign is focused largely on educating and empowering young people to prevent and end abusive relationships. The website for the initiative provides several resources for getting help as well as advice and educational materials on the topics it's focused on.
Bumble has been a long time supporter of creating an abuse and harassment free environment for dating. With their women initiating contact dating app along with their previous contributions to ending abuse, it is clear the company is more than just talk. The most recent partnership with The Hotline in order to promote the “love is respect” campaign, is another major step toward educating and helping young people move to action in order to prevent and stop abusive relationships from happening. Especially with domestic violence and digital abuse cases on the rise during COVID-19, the more steps prominent companies directly involved with dating and relationships can take in order to curb this rise, the better.
About the Author
Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.