Relationship advice for couples together 24/7 during lockdown


185 days ago

There are concerns that South Africa could see a spike in domestic violence as couples or families are forced into close proximity 24/7 during the 21-day lockdown.

RELATED: Commission for Gender Equality to work closely with SAPS to curb GBV

Counsellor and author Paula Quinsee says says it makes sense that government banned the sale of alcohol as people tend to turn to negative coping mechanisms like susbstance abuse during stressful situations, which can spark abuse.

However, being confined together adds extra pressure, especially in an already volatile household.

It's a preventative measure but it doesn't necessarily mean that it **is** going to prevent domestic violence from happening, because when tempers and emotions come into play there's still a high risk particularly in households where there is a history of abuse...

Paula Quinsee, Counsellor and author

That's because of the current situation where you are confined in a small space with your partner and potentially family members, and you've got nowhere to go and nowhere to hide.

Paula Quinsee, Counsellor and author

And when you are in confinement for a long period of time all sorts of mental health issues start playing up and affect us.

Paula Quinsee, Counsellor and author

For couples who have a relationship built on a healthy foundation this is an opportunity for really talking about issues, she says.

The relationship expert advises putting boundaries in place to deal with conflict in a healthy way, for example making an agreement not to call each other names during an argument.

Couples who are already in a rocky relationship need extra support:

It's about how you can put some preventative measures in place and some support structures, whether it be family members or friends or whether it be our national support line and centres you can reach out to.

Paula Quinsee, Counsellor and author

Being in each other's faces actually forces couples to deal with their situations and a lot of the time during normal circumstances couples avoid this because... they're busy and things get swept under the carpet and they're not resolved.

Paula Quinsee, Counsellor and author

If you don't have support structures in place to help you, you've got nowhere to hide and that can spike this whole gender-based violence issue.

Paula Quinsee, Counsellor and author

Couples who are able to can make use of online counselling, she says.

These are the toll free hotline numbers vulnerable women can dial for help:

0800 150 150 or 0800 007 709

Listen to the conversation on Weekend Breakfast:

This article first appeared on 702 : Relationship advice for couples together 24/7 during lockdown

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