Everyone is staying in their houses because of the coronavirus pandemic–but what happens when your home isn’t safe? The New York Times reports the pandemic raises the following questions for victims of domestic violence who need the attention of city, state and federal agencies:
- What do you do if you’re confined to the most terrifying place — your home?
- What impact does the pandemic have on police response to 911 calls from domestic violence victims?
- As hospitals are focused on critical care for coronavirus patients, should a victim in need of medical attention avoid going to an emergency room?
- At shelters, are there protocols in place for the spread of the virus?
Staying at home with your abusive partner might be worrisome now that courts are closed for anything that’s not considered an emergency. However, family law attorney Rebecca Wade explains that domestic violence is considered an emergency and protective orders are continuing to move forward.
“If you are a victim of domestic violence and you feel that you need a protective order to keep you safe, you can still file for it and go to court. They will still hear that case,” says Wade.
Wade suggests there may be an increase in domestic violence cases during this time. According to an article in Time, the “National Domestic Violence Hotline reports that a growing number of callers say that their abusers are using COVID-19 as a means of further isolating them from their friends and family.”
What I’ve seen is that people are used to having their own routines, and not being together all day. When people are in close proximity for extended periods of time, the little things that irritate you about a person are going to come out. Without anywhere to go, there may be an increased number of cases of people seeking protective orders.
Partner Rebecca Janet Wade has spent years representing clients grappling with high-conflict family law challenges. She has in-depth knowledge of where family law intersects with criminal law, along with strategies honed from fighting in the trenches of domestic battles. Ms. Wade has extensive experience with protective orders and laws involving physical abuse, assault and injury, emotional abuse, threats of violence, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect and more. She represents clients in cases of divorce, child custody and visitation, protective orders, child protective services investigations, juvenile delinquency, and criminal charges. Her work defending the mother of a young child left in a hot car seat received considerable media attention.