Andrew Cuomo: Domestic Violence ‘Very Bad,’ But It’s ‘Not Death’

When asked Wednesday about the economic and emotional tolls many New Yorkers are facing as a result of the coronavirus crisis, the State’s Governor Andrew Cuomo said that although the lockdown is difficult for residents, it’s their “responsibility” to comply in order to save lives.

Although he recognized that there are issues from the current social distancing measures such as a rise in domestic violence, emotional stress, and increased economic anxiety, Cuomo said it’s “very bad,” but “not death.”

“Economic hardship, yes, very bad, not death. Emotional stress from being locked in a house very bad, not death,” Cuomo said. “Domestic violence on the increase, very bad, not death, and not death of someone else. See, that’s what we have to factor into this equation. Yeah, it’s your life, do whatever you want, but you’re not responsible for my life.”

He added, “You have a responsibility to me. It’s not just about you. You have a responsibility to me, right. We started here saying it’s not about me, it’s about we. Get your head around the we concept, so it’s not all about you. It’s about me too. It’s about we.”

There are many people, however, dying as a result of the unprecedented controls including the victims of economic hardships and rising domestic abuse. Calls to suicide and domestic violence hotlines, to name one example, have spiked in the last month.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline receives an average of 1800-2000 calls per day, however, with so many people staying at home there has been an increase and 3,829 of the victims calling over the last month have cited COVID-19 as leverage for their abuser, according to a statement provided to from the group’s CEO Katie Ray-Jones.

“Because we expect that people are spending more time at home, possibly not leaving the home for work each day, for example, we know survivors are spending more time in closer proximity to their abusers. This is stressful for everyone, but especially for survivors,” Ray-Jones said.

Earlier seeing the need for mental health care, Cuomo asked state mental health professionals to provide free care recognizing that “the mental health impact of this pandemic is very real.”

Now, his solution for at least those lacking an income is to seek work in “essential” fields.