The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is spreading fast, leading to a state-wide shelter-in-place in an attempt to contain the virus.
While quarantine and isolation will help fight COVID-19, it is leading to a rise in a preventable crime. Police and health officials in California are expecting it to become more difficult for victims to find help if they’re at home with their abuser.
“People are going to be experiencing more challenges with children at home, less work, and it might be more difficult to get healthcare for survivors of domestic violence with the hospitals potentially getting overwhelmed,” Faith Whitmore, executive director of the Sacramento Regional Family Justice Center, told the Sacramento Bee.
One domestic violence service provider told the Bee that they’ve seen a 17 percent increase in calls for the first half of March, a significant increase compared to the amount of calls they received at the same time a year ago. As of March 24, California had more than 2,200 cases of people infected with the coronavirus, indicating that the quarantine may be in place longer than people anticipate. With more people staying home, it’s only a matter of time that the calls in alleged domestic abuse increases.
Some stressors that can trigger domestic abuse includes job layoffs, alcoholism, and helping children distance learn from home can be challenging. The National Domestic Violence Hotline recommends people create a safety plan in case they find themselves in danger. For victims who feel isolated due to Gov. Newsom’s shelter-in-place order, it is recommended that they reach out to family and friends. Victims who need support can call the hotline at 1-800-799-7723.
Under California law, the term “abuse” is defined to include:
- recklessly or intentionally causing or attempting to cause bodily injury;
- placing another person in reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury to themselves or another person;
- assaults of a sexual nature.
It should also be noted that it is possible false domestic violence accusations can also rise as people are forced to interact with each other more. If left to the prosecution, even the smallest accusation can lead to damaging sentences that do not fit the crime. Domestic or intimate partner violence charges can have severe aftermath including jail time, fines, and orders barring personal contact that carry long-term consequences for your freedom and personal relationships.
Whether you are a victim or accused of domestic abuse, Jay Leiderman Law has experience handling these highly sensitive issues. Effective representation will always depend on the unique facts of your case, so it is critical to consult with a skilled, experienced attorney. Don’t face domestic violence charges or fight your abuser without doing everything possible to increase your chances of a favorable outcome.
Call Jay Leiderman Law at (805)654-0200 or contact him on his website to learn what he can do for your case.