In her March 20 Metro column, “Recovering addicts find they’re suddenly alone, ” Petula Dvorak mentioned the effect isolation is having on another group: victims of domestic violence. I think about my own situation, years ago, and what would have happened to me had I been on an enforced lockdown with my abuser. I most assuredly would not have left alive.

I’m an advocate for victims, and I talk a lot about what signs to look for if you are a bystander. We usually see signals such as attempting to hide bruises with makeup or clothing, low self-esteem, isolation, having little money available and depression. It’s hard to notice any of those signs if we aren’t in front of one another. We need to listen. We need to check in. We need to be aware of the name of every organization that provides support to victims of abuse. And we need to be ready to provide that information when the victim asks for it.

I wasn’t in the middle of a pandemic when I was beaten, although it surely felt as though I needed protection from the enemy. It took a friend to get me out. She was my lifeline. This may be your chance to be one, too.

Cheryl Kravitz, Silver Spring

The writer is a former co-chair of

the Maryland Family Violence Council.