The Rise of Domestic Violence During the COVID-19 Pandemic

November 16, 2020 Domestic Violence

domestic violence in florida

The presence of COVID-19 and the associated lockdowns have had an extremely negative impact on society, with wide-sweeping changes affecting everything from the 15% of adults who have lost their income, to the functioning of the criminal justice system itself.  As of the posting of this article over a million people worldwide have lost their lives, with nearly 20% of those deaths here at home in the United States. It’s easy for society to focus on the direct effects of the disease and the economy, but this leaves other issues largely ignored. The CDC tallies “excess deaths,” a value that estimates how many people have died in 2020 as opposed to what was statistically predicted. Tragically, this value reflects only 2 in 3 of the excess deaths are from the COVID pandemic. For every 2 individuals who have died directly from the disease in this county, another American has lost their life due to pandemic restrictions or other changes in society.

These excess deaths are largely due to the strain on the medical resources available for those who are not affected. There is another contributor, the rise of violent crime. While crime has largely decreased, violent crime and domestic violence have seen an increase.

Domestic Violence During COVID-19

The tragedy of COVID-19 is not isolated to those who have fallen ill or died from the disease. Worldwide lockdowns have become the most effective way to decrease the spread of the disease. This treatment comes with a cost. There are two primary factors contributing to an increase in violence in the home: loss of employment; and closures of schools, businesses, and offices.

In the United States, 15% of adults have been terminated, and 25% live with someone who has. This has resulted in that same number to spend substantially more time at home. Low-Income and Unemployment are two direct factors that lead to Domestic Violence, and a quarter of the nation are experiencing both, potentially for the first time. More time spent at home can also contribute to arguments and anger just from the time spent together. This is referred to as COVID Fatigue.

A huge contributing factor to COVID Fatigue, outside of the time spent at home due to job loss, is the general requirement to stay at home for other reasons. Nearly 50% of the U.S. work force is currently working from home. Schools are closing around the country at the behest of the CDC and converting to distance learning. A current trend during the new wave of cases is the implementation of curfews, increasing time spent at home and limiting the serving of alcohol past a certain times. All three of these trends suddenly and dramatically increased the time romantic partners are spending with each other and with their children in a now-stressful environment and no ability to leave. Constant contact with a spouse with potential for abuse, and direct cutoff from the community erodes all of the “Protective Factors for Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration,” laid out by the CDC.

These factors have created a perfect storm that has resulted COVID fatigue and thus increased violence in the home. There are added stresses of children being present more often. Lack of finances play a role. There is a decreased police response, victims feel there is no one to call. There is a natural cutting off of societal safety nets, like friends and family. Many feel at the end of their rope and many feel isolated.

Domestic Violence during COVID-19 has been referred to as “A Pandemic Within a Pandemic,” and our team hopes that all legitimate victims are able to seek help (please see below for resources if you have been the victim of domestic violence). Unfortunately, there are some individuals who are so fed up with the home situation during this time that they are willing to fabricate allegations to punish their partner. Everyone accused of a crime deserves a fervent defense though, whether allegations are legitimate or not. It is crucial to contact a qualified criminal defense attorney if you have been accused of a Domestic Violence offense.

Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer in Tallahassee, FL

There has never been a more stressful time in recent memory, but the legal team at Pumphrey Law family wants to assist you with any criminal charges to ensure they don’t add needlessly to that stress. The criminal justice system is changing every day, but there is no one better prepared to roll with those punches than Don Pumphrey, the legal team at Pumphrey law, and their decades of experience defending Domestic Violence accusations. The team at Pumphrey Law has over 100 not guilty verdicts and over 2,000 dismissals, representing defendants in criminal cases throughout the state of Florida.  We are dedicated to defending the rights of clients and will fight for the best possible disposition or dismissal of your case. Call (850) 681-7777 or send an online message today to discuss your rights during an open and free video consultation with a Domestic Violence attorney in our legal team.

Resources for Domestic Violence Victims

  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline
    • This website contains a hotline (1.800.799.SAFE) or a live chat option to speak to someone who can help. It includes warnings and directions for hiding internet use and preventing retaliation from an abuser.
  • The Leon County Sheriff’s Office Victim Advocate Unit
    This website has information for victims of domestic violence in Leon County, Florida. The Leon County Sheriff’s Office established the Victim Advocate Unit in 1995 to provide services and assistance to victims of domestic violence.
  • Refuge House, Inc.
    An emergency shelter that provides services to the victims of domestic violence and their children throughout Leon County and the surrounding areas. The website also provides educational information on domestic violence including stories, outreach programs, children’s programs, rape crisis programs, courthouse programs, safety tips, news and more. The mailing address and 24-hour crisis phone line are:

  • Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence
    FCADV desires to create a violence-free world and provides leadership, education, training, technical assistance, advocacy and support to domestic violence center programs.

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