There is no arguing that the stay at home and shelter in place orders that spread across the nation beginning in March 2020 helped stop the spread of COVID-19 and saved lives. There were many unintended consequences of this shutdown, some positive such as the environmental benefits and others negative such as a rise in domestic abuse. This pandemic brought the perfect storm for domestic violence to increase; more time at home, less contact with friends and family, kids being at home, as well as financial and other stressors. Now that these orders are being gradually lifted, it is time to reach out to a compassionate Aurora domestic violence lawyer if you are the victim of abuse.
Numerous cities across the United States report that domestic violence complaints have increased between approximately six to 18 percent since March. While the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s call volume stayed within their average of between 1,800 and 2,000 calls per day, over 1,700 of those callers in the last two weeks of March reported that their abuser was using COVID-19 as a means to isolate, instill fear, and coerce them. Those who work with domestic violence victims are also concerned that many are not able to make any calls for help to law enforcement, friends or family, an Aurora domestic violence attorney, or a domestic abuse hotline because their partner is closely watching their behaviors. It is quite possible that the numbers are even more substantial but go unreported.
Although America has not experienced a pandemic in a century, it has, however, weathered through many natural disasters. Studies show that natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey in 2017 cause domestic abuse to increase. Two profound reasons for the increase in mental health and anxiety and the loss of access to community networks. Stress related to several different factors in both pandemics and natural disasters can cause many abusers to consume more alcohol, which increases the likelihood of violence, especially in an already abusive relationship.
Social isolation is one of the key weapons that domestic violence victims face. Now that physical isolation is government-sanctioned, many abusers are taking advantage of this time. Because of the pandemic, the victim and the abuser are home together more often than not. Abusers can easily keep tabs on the victim’s every move. With this type of intrusive supervision, victims can find it next to impossible to reach out for help, whether online or by phone. Even if the victim of domestic violence is able to ask for help, there may not be many options for them as ordinarily full battered women’s shelters are now bursting at the seams.
At CNL Law Firm, PLLC, we care about your safety and well-being. If you are experiencing domestic violence, we are here to help. Our legal team can assist you in obtaining protection orders and help you understand and pursue your legal options against your abuser. Out of further concern for your safety and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic, we can even meet with you remotely. Call (720) 370-2171 or complete our online form to request your free consultation with an experienced Aurora domestic violence lawyer today.