Potential Spike in Domestic Violence Cases During COVID-19 Pandemic
During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, most families will be ordered to remain under quarantine. Many individuals are either working from home or out of work all together. During this time, law enforcement officials are seeing an increase in domestic violence. While Most crimes are down, officials in Burlington County are seeing a spike in domestic violence cases. This is not unique to Burlington County or even New Jersey. The National Domestic Abuse helpline has seen a 25% increase in calls and online requests since the lockdown in the United Kingdom.
Domestic abuse victims, who generally are able to escape their abusers during work hours, are now forced to remain in close proximity to their abusive family members. Without the ability to leave for any social gatherings, or to have either party go to work, these incidents are likely going to rise.
According to the Department of Children and Families, there could be as much as a 50% increase in domestic violence cases following a disaster. This is likely going to remain true for families in quarantine during this pandemic as well.
What Can I do as a Victim of Domestic Violence?
Help still exists if you or a loved one is a victim of domestic violence. Providence House Domestic Violence Services of Catholic Charities, Burlington County’s domestic violence agency, remains open twenty-four hours a day to help victims of Domestic Violence. Furthermore, even with the closure of the Courts, local police departments are still providing access to victim’s who need the protections of a Temporary Restraining Order.
When a victim of domestic violence makes an application for a Temporary Restraining Order, they will be put in contact with either a Superior or Municipal Court Judge. They will be given the opportunity to explain to the Judge what happened and why they need the protections of this Order. If the Judge finds that the allegations presented, if proven, would constitute domestic violence under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, he or she will order that a Temporary Restraining Order be entered.
This Temporary Restraining Order will generally provide the victim with possession of the marital property and will prohibit the Defendant from contacting the victim in any way. Any type of contact will result in criminal charges against the Defendant.
If you or any of your loved ones is a victim of domestic violence and are seeking help with filing for a Temporary Restraining Order, the attorneys at Rosenberg │ Perry & Associates are available to answer your questions and provide assistance.