How to deal with tension, conflict and domestic abuse

Last reviewed on 5 October 2020

The current situation might be stressful for families and others living in the same household. It’s likely you’ll be spending more time with each other because your normal routine of work, school and leisure activities has changed. If you don’t have a lot of space at home, things might feel cramped and frustrating.

Of course, many of you will also be worried about the risk of coronavirus to your health and the impact it could have on your family and friends. You might also have concerns about your job and your finances and simply feel overwhelmed by the whole situation.

All of this could put a strain on your relationships with other people in your household. In these circumstances, tensions and conflicts are more likely to develop or, if they were already present, become worse.

We have put together the advice below to help you at this time. You’ll find lots of other articles related to coronavirus, including How to deal with stress, How to get enough sleep and How to deal with the uncertainty of lockdown on our website.

Read the Mental Health Foundation's advice on nurturing relationships during the coronavirus outbreak and guidance for people in abusive relationships.


Relationships

The relationship you have with your family or your housemates will play an even bigger role as you deal with social distancing and self-isolation. Their support will help you to get through this.

But it’s useful to acknowledge that, in any relationship, arguments do happen and conflict can be inevitable – especially in this kind of high pressure situation. It’s what you do about it that counts.

Domestic abuse

There might already have been tensions and conflicts within your family. At its worst, this might have led to domestic violence and abuse, which might take the form of emotional abuse, threats and intimidation, physical abuse or sexual abuse. The added pressure of coronavirus might exacerbate the situation and your home might not be a place of safety for you.

During the lockdown, there is still help available (online and on the phone) and the Government has confirmed that victims of abuse are allowed to leave violent households to take refuge.