Domestic Violence during COVID-19
Following the issuance of the global lockdowns to prevent the spread of coronavirus, many find themselves at home with a significant other. For some, this means sheltering in place with their abuser. Many countries are seeing a dramatic increase in domestic violence reports, with the United Nations Secretary-General, António Gutteres, stating there has been “a horrifying surge in domestic violence.” In American cities specifically, reports of domestic violence have risen while reports of other crimes has fallen. An analysis of five major American cities shows that although most types of crime have fallen in recent weeks, reports of domestic violence have increased.
Domestic violence is considered to be one of the most under-reported crimes. In lockdown, this may be even more exaggerated, as it may be more difficult and dangerous for a victim to seek help when the abuser is always around. In Denmark in the week following their country-wide shutdown order, calls to the nation’s domestic violence fell by more than fifty percent (50%), while calls about emergency shelters, mostly from people asking for a place to stay, rose dramatically.
Many countries are taking additional measures to protect victims of domestic violence, including setting up additional temporary shelters or creating alternate ways to report domestic violence, such as by using code words at pharmacies. In the United States, there are multiple resources available to victims. Below please find several resources if you are facing violence at home:
National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799 SAFE
In Oakland County, you can reach out to HAVEN at their crisis line at 248-334-1274
In Wayne County, you can reach out to YWCA/Interim House Metro Detroit at their crisis line at 313-862-5300 OR Detroit Wayne County SAFE Program at their crisis line at 313-430-8000
For any other county, resources can be found at the following link through michigan.gov.
Fausone Bohn, LLP has decades of experience helping clients with an array of family law issues, including divorce, child support, and enforcement. Please feel free to call or email us anytime as we are here to assist.