James Charles Defends Controversial 'Mugshot' Makeup Look: 'Nothing to Do with Domestic Violence'

The tone-deaf “mugshot challenge” on TikTok comes as many survivors of domestic violence find themselves in situations experts say could have a “devastating” impact on their health and safety as they are staying home during the coronavirus outbreak.

Nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence — and the spread of the virus has experts worried abuse will increase, Dr. Amanda Stylianou, the quality improvement director at Rutgers University’s Behavioral Health Care center, told PEOPLE.

“I think that the fear of coronavirus is something that abusers are using really as a means to control victims,” she said.

Because of circumstances like this, and because of added stress and pressure in homes with a history of abuse, she said experts know that abuse is likely to increase in situations like the current outbreak, which has infected 43,499 people and killed at least 537 in the United States as of Tuesday afternoon, according to The New York Times.

Despite the hesitation to reach out, organizations like the National Domestic Violence Hotline and RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) still have people manning the phones 24/7 and offering help to those who need it, from arranging shelter placements to offering free and confidential chat lines.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233) also encourages those who need help but are unable to speak safely to text LOVEIS to 22522. RAINN (800-656-4673) shared a recent Twitter thread geared toward those concerned about being in close quarters with their abusers, and offered several strategies people may find helpful too.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.

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