24th April 2020
COVID-19 Lockdown Has Unexpected Consequences for Domestic Violence Victims
How common is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is an umbrella term that encompasses child abuse, partner abuse, and elder abuse. However, the most common form of domestic abuse is partner abuse. This abuse does not always have to be physical, but can include economical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Domestic abuse is never something that slows down very much, but during the COVID-19 lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, domestic abuse rates are through the roof.
Because domestic abuse can occur at home (between a parent and a child or between partners), rates are increasing as everyone is required to be at home constantly. For some victims, their only escape is a trip the mall or a random trip to the craft store. During coronavirus, that is not really possible.
For victims, it can feel like there isn’t an escape from their abusers. Simultaneously, abusers are seemingly getting more irate and abusive due to the frustrations of being stuck at home. These situations are tough, and getting through it may seem impossible. However, even if you’re stuck at home with your abuser, there are still ways to get help.
Why are domestic violence rates increasing?
Domestic violence rates are increasing because of COVID-19 and the fact that people have been trapped at home. Due to the “stay-at-home” order in place in many states, people aren’t allowed to leave their houses unless it’s for essential goods, or unless they’re an essential employee. While this order isn’t in place in every state, like North Dakota, all states are operating like this. While some states have harsher rules in place, in general, no one should be leaving their house.
In Seattle, Washington, the police department found a 21% increase in reported domestic violence. This is likely because of the amount of people stuck in their homes. However, more people may be reporting domestic violence that was already occurring simply because they currently have no other option.
Many victims of domestic abuse feel unsafe in their homes. To escape their abuse, they often find shelter in other places, at a friends house, their local coffee shop, or another ‘out of the house’ location. Children are often only safe from domestic abuse when they’re at school. Most schools have been cancelled, so children are being forced to stay at home with their abusers as well.
How can a victim of domestic violence get help while stuck at home?
It may seem impossible to receive help while stuck in quarantine, but there are still options out there. Many online mental health organizations are getting together to figure out how to help victims that are stuck with their abusers. As a result, many campaigns have emerged to help. At this time, it appears that one of the more useful tactics involves checking on the people you care about to make sure that they’re doing okay.
However, there are still other options as well. A motel in New Zealand is offering vacant rooms as shelters for people who feel unsafe in their own homes. It’s truly an unseen time, but reaching out to an organization or even a friend can go a long way in helping escape an unsafe home. The problem is, many victims of abuse don’t feel like they can reach out.
How can an attorney help with my domestic violence case?
Working with an attorney on your domestic violence case can be helpful. Because domestic abuse cases tend to depend on hard to recover evidence, having an attorney by your side can be a huge help. “Survivors rate the filing of a protective order as one of the two most effective tools for stopping domestic violence, second only to leaving the abuser,” states the Legal Services Corporation. Because filing for a protective order can be complex, an attorney may be the way to go. They can help you make sure that your case is taken seriously and that your protective order is received.
Resources for Victims of Domestic Violence
While it may feel like you’re alone in your situation, there are many resources for you to rely on. Many of these resources also offer online chat functions that can help with discretion, if that’s something you’re concerned about. Here are just a few resources for anyone dealing with domestic abuse in their home.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline Call 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
- National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673
- Crisis Text Line Text HOME to 741741
- Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-422-4453
- Office on Women’s Health Helpline 1-800-994-9662
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you’re located in Watford City, Williston, Bismarck, or Minot North Dakota, please contact us for assistance. If you’re struggling with domestic abuse and don’t feel safe in your own home, or you know someone dealing with domestic abuse, please contact us online or by phone at 651-291-7263 for a free case evaluation and more information. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are ready to take on your case so you can feel safe in your own home.