Of all the many issues associated with COVID-19, it is widely known that some people are at a higher risk for becoming the victim of domestic violence. Those at high risk may include individuals that live with their abuser ordered to remain at home with them for several months. The stress of living together is simply too much and some take it out on the people in their household. Domestic violence is a terrible crime, and lawmakers and prosecutors in Pennsylvania take it seriously.
Like many other aspects of the pandemic, some may try to take advantage of the situation by falsely accusing someone else of domestic violence. To prevent this from happening, and to avoid any potential charges, it is important that everyone understands how to reduce the risk of domestic violence during this time.
Reasons for Increase in Domestic Violence During COVID-19
Overall crime rates have reduced since the emergence of the pandemic, but due to the unique circumstances surrounding COVID-19, there has been an increase in domestic violence. There are several reasons for this, including:
- The statewide stay-at-home order has restricted the movement of individuals already in an abusive relationship.
- Perpetrators may feel safer, knowing it is unlikely the police will respond to a call for help and enter a home.
- People do not have the same freedom to leave home to cool off after an argument.
- Small homes limit the space available for spouses before, during, and after an argument.
- Households are under financial strain, increasing the risk of domestic violence.
- Without child care available, stress has increased on the entire household.
- More time spent between spouses and those in a romantic relationship bring more opportunities for arguments.
- People are becoming increasingly impatient as they face uncertainties about their future.
- Bars and restaurants are closed, meaning that more people are drinking at home, which can increase the risk for domestic violence.
Unfortunately, knowing the reasons for the increase in domestic violence cases is not enough. People also have to try to prevent it from occurring.
Reducing the Risk of Domestic Violence During the Pandemic
Of course, not everyone can prevent domestic violence from occurring if one person is very abusive. However, there are some steps that may help reduce the risk. These include:
- Do not initiate an argument.
- Walk away from disputes, even if just to a different room.
- Take a short walk, which is allowed even with the state’s restrictions.
- Do not attack the other person but instead, try to work on problems together.
- Make time to just enjoy being together as a family.
- Call someone to talk to them about the frustrations you are experiencing.
- Try to keep drinking to a minimum, particularly if you know that you or your partner is prone to become aggressive after drinking.
When these measures are not enough, or if someone still falsely accuses you of domestic violence, it is important to understand that law offices are still open in some capacity during the pandemic.
Our Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Lawyers are Here to Help
There is little one can do to protect themselves against domestic violence, or against false accusations. If you have been wrongly accused, our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers are here to help. At van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin, our attorneys have the necessary experience to build you a strong defense and give you the best chance of beating the charges. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can help with your case.