COVID-19 Affects on Domestic Violence

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On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the COVID-19 outbreak has become a pandemic. Within the next few weeks, North Carolina and other states throughout the U.S. issued stay at home orders to combat the spread of the coronavirus and “flatten the curve.”

These orders generally mean everyone must remain in their home and practice social distancing when performing essential tasks like grocery shopping or picking up medicine at a pharmacy. However, they also resulted in the closure of many businesses, some governmental operations, and all schools until further notice.

When you combine spending all day and every day with loved ones, job loss, and the financial stress of paying household bills and supporting the family all together, these factors can lead to domestic violence incidents. In fact, based on reports by law enforcement throughout the country and the National Domestic Violence Hotline, there has been a significant increase in domestic disputes since the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to ‘WHO”, domestic violence incidents often rise during times of crisis, such as epidemics, natural disasters, and wars. Axios recently reported that domestic violence cases near Wuhan (China) tripled in February 2020, in comparison to the same period last year.

Mandatory lockdowns mean many victims believe that they cannot seek refuge at their family’s or friend’s home, afraid they could expose their loved ones to the virus. If they suffer an injury caused by abuse, victims may avoid seeking medical attention out of fear of contracting COVID-19. Finding ways to call for help may seem practically impossible since their abusers are always home and watching over them.

Despite the obstacles presented to domestic abuse victims in North Carolina, courthouses throughout the state remain operational (but not open to the public). Emergency court hearings are still held for individuals seeking protective orders against their abusers.

At Jetton & Meredith, PLLC, we are still open and available to help our clients in Charlotte during this frightening and uncertain time. Whether you are a victim of domestic abuse or falsely accused of domestic violence, we can take the necessary legal steps on your behalf to get the outcome and justice you desire.

For more information about domestic violence in North Carolina, contact us today at {704-333-1114} to discuss your case today over the phone or through pre-scheduled video conferencing.