Increases in Domestic Violence During COVID-19
As many family law attorneys have discovered in recent months, the allegations and incidents of domestic violence have increased. New estimates from the United Nations Population Fund suggest that several months of quarantine could result in a 20 percent increase in domestic violence world-wide. In fact, CASA in St. Petersburg has reported a 54% increase in domestic violence calls compared to this time in 2019.
What are the causes of this increase? It’s becoming clear that the quarantines in effect during the time of COVID-19 have contributed to an overall increase in domestic violence incidents. Quarantine has resulted in isolation, stress, economic anxiety and for many, joblessness – all of which can result in more volatility and disputes between couples. Also, the increased use of drugs and alcohol to deal with the stress can contribute to the volatility and violence within the home. If you have been the victim of violence, the first step is to leave the violent encounter immediately, if possible, and contact law enforcement. There are also shelters you can contact, including CASA or The Spring of Tampa Bay for temporary shelter and safety.
Have you been wrongly accused of domestic violence? Be sure to take these steps.
- If you have been served with a Temporary No Contact Order, most likely you have a return hearing within 15 days of entry of the No Contact Order. At the return hearing, you will have the opportunity to put forward your defense to the allegations outlined in the Petition for the No Contact Order. Even if you are innocent of the allegations, do not violate the terms of the No Contact Order. Violating a no contact order can result in harsher penalties from the Court.
- After you have been served with the No Contact Order, do not contact the Petitioner/Victim directly or even through a third party. This is considered a violation of the No Contact Order and could result in harsher penalties from the Court.
- If you were involved in the incident of violence due to self-defense, make sure to take photos of your injuries and provide your attorney with the names and contact information of all third party witnesses present during the incident. Having this evidence can make the difference between having the no contact order dismissed and having the State Attorney’s office file criminal charges against you.
- Avoid using drugs or alcohol. The use of drugs or alcohol can contribute to incidents of abuse and violence. Also, the use of drugs and alcohol could lead you to text or call the victim while a No Contact Order is in place, resulting in a violation of the Contact Order. Remember: contacting the victim, even by text or phone call, can result in sanctions or harsher penalties from the court.
The Law Offices of Patricia Palma has 20 years of experience in family law. If you have questions regarding divorce or family law matters, contact The Law Offices of Patricia Palma, P.A. at 813-258-3211 or contact us online to schedule a meeting at our Tampa office.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.