Mass isolation and social distancing have been one of the recommended steps to curb the spread of the virus. While this guarantees that partners spend more time with each other, it has not been to the advantage of all. More incidences of domestic violence occur when families spend more time together at Christmas, Easter, etc.
Staying indoor may pose more danger to the health and livelihood of persons trapped in abusive relationships. Some may even prefer risking it all and going outside. Research has shown that a typical occurrence after a natural disaster is a rise in incidences of domestic violence. Thus, we can take an educated guess that there would be a rise in cases although many may go unreported.
For instance, the rise in murder-suicides which is more often a consequence of domestic violence suggests a rise in domestic violence. Murder suicides can be escalated cases of domestic violence. In those cases, the abuser kills their partner and themselves afterward.
A survey conducted by NBC News shows a 20% rise in reports of incidences of domestic violence in Houston. This becomes more frightening if we consider the fact that many cases go unreported.
Factors influencing the rise in domestic violence during this Pandemic
Some of the factors responsible for the perceived rise in domestic violence cases during this pandemic include:
- Financial Insecurity: Many have lost their jobs and source of livelihood due to the pandemic. As a result many families live on stimulus packages and charity donations. This has thrown families into a state of financial distress breeding frustration leading up to abuse.
- Stress and Confinement: Forced confinement and stress may be the cause of frustration and domestic abuse. This coupled with the constant desire to be in control and find a coping mechanism may lead to domestic violence.
- Alcohol and Substance Use: This period may occasion a great deal of stress and frustration on partners. In response they may resort to excessive drinking and alcohol abuse which may eventually lead up to domestic violence.
Anybody Can Fall Victim
Domestic violence during this pandemic can be committed against any person irrespective of gender and position in the home. Although women are mostly on the receiving end of reported cases, men can also be victims.
We would ordinarily advise a timely report of cases to prevent further abuse and even death. For this process you may not need a lawyer.
When Do You Need a Lawyer?
If you wish to proceed with an action in court against your abuser then you may need a lawyer. Consulting a lawyer is not confined to the period after you are sued or when you intend to sue. You may need to consult with a family law attorney for advice on your rights and options available for the protection of such rights.
Courts are currently closed to non-essential cases. But courts still hear emergency hearings and criminal cases in many states. Law firms are also open to limited business in some states. Virtual meetings with attorneys can be facilitated to ensure safety during this pandemic.