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Rise in Domestic Violence During Coronavirus Lockdowns


During the coronavirus lockdowns in Florida and across the country, rates of domestic violence rose. In many of those households, the threat of family violence was not new, yet quarantining in close quarters during a period of high stress and anxiety may lead to more incidents of domestic violence, according to an article in The New York Times. Domestic violence is an aspect of family law that needs to be handled quickly and efficiently. When someone is at risk of injury due to family violence, that party may be able to seek an injunction for protection. If someone is accused of domestic violence, it is also important for that person to seek advice from a family lawyer given that documentation of domestic violence may impact that party’s ability to have child custody or parenting time.

We want to discuss the rise in domestic violence allegations, and to say more about what they could mean in Florida.

Domestic Violence Increases During Family Time Together 

According to the article in The New York Times, “domestic violence goes up whenever families spend more time together, such as the Christmas and summer vacations.” While family “together” time may not have been a choice during the coronavirus stay-at-home orders and self-quarantine recommendations, many families in Florida and throughout the U.S. have ended up together in close quarters. As such, many family psychology experts suggest, a rise in domestic violence cases was likely.

In most of these cases, domestic violence allegations did not arise unexpectedly. As the article suggests, most of the parties who called domestic abuse hotlines or reported incidents of domestic abuse had been in abusive relationships for quite some time. In other words, the parties had experienced physical violence at the hands of their partners in the past, and they experienced more frequent and sometimes worse incidents of abuse during the coronavirus shutdown.

Pandemic Frustrations Exacerbate Other Issues at Home

For many of these families, abuse and violence arose out of frustrations associated with the pandemic, job losses and economic fears, and the inability to leave the house. All of these factors created a toxic situation in which many partners reported increased incidents of domestic violence. As one person explained, “during the epidemic, we were unable to go outside, and our conflicts just grew bigger and bigger and more and more frequent . . . .  Everything was exposed.”

Experts on domestic violence and psychology are describing incidents of domestic violence during the pandemic as “intimate terrorism,” or situations in which abused parties who typically can only escape violence by leaving the home no longer have that options. Beyond physical violence, increased reports of domestic abuse also cite other forms of intimate partner violence, including “isolation from friends, family and employment, constant surveillance, strict, detailed rules for behavior, and restrictions on access to such basic necessities as food, clothing, and sanitary facilities.”

Contact an Orlando Family Lawyer with Experience Handling Domestic Violence Cases

It is important to understand the implications of domestic violence and to learn more about options for protection or defense. An experienced Orlando domestic violence lawyer can help. Contact Anderson & Ferrin for more information.



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