COVID-19 & Increasing Domestic Violence
In January 2020, the lives of people from around the world changed drastically thanks to COVID-19, a type of coronavirus that has morphed into a worldwide pandemic. Almost every day there are headlines detailing COVID-19 surges as well as recommendations to limit outings in an effort to avoid contracting the virus. The event has forced many people and their families into quarantine, and therefore has increased emotional instability and isolation among human beings around the world including the state of Texas.
While this pandemic continues to pervade the United States, we’ve also seen an alarming increase in domestic violence among families. A study conducted by the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council revealed 52% reported violence has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic began. In that study, 30% of domestic abuse victims utilized some type of resource whether it be a shelter, hotline, or anything else.
Although the battle with COVID-19 has been long, it’s not over yet. That means we probably won’t see a decrease in domestic violence cases soon. With so much going on, it’s likely law enforcement and prosecutors are on high alert for possible cases of domestic violence. If you’ve been arrested for a family violence crime, look no further than Horak Law.
Houston Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer | COVID-19 and Family Violence
If you or someone you know has been arrested for a family violence offense, it’s within your best interest to find legal representation as soon as possible. Domestic violence is on the rise around the United Sates and because of that prosecutors will make an example out of family violence offenders. For experienced and dedicated counsel, call Horak Law.
Matthew Horak of Horak Law is a knowledgeable attorney with years of experience handling domestic violence cases of all degrees. He understands how complex and delicate these matters can be, especially during the height of the pandemic. That is why he will do everything in his power to fight for reduced or dismissed charges on your behalf.
Call Horak Law today at (713) 225-8000 to set up your first consultation free of charge. Horak Law is located in The Woodlands and Houston, but we accept clients in Brazoria County, Liberty County, Montgomery County, Harris County, and Fort Bend County.
- Domestic Violence During Lockdown
- Statistics for Domestic Violence Crimes During COVID-19
- Domestic Violence Offenses COVID-19 Texas
- Additional Resources
Domestic Violence During Lockdown
COVID-19 is an incredibly contagious and deadly virus and unfortunately has claimed millions of lives worldwide. Although vaccines are now available to those who qualify, the best way to avoid the virus is to basically minimize contact with other people as it’s primarily contracted through touch or through airborne particles. When the pandemic first began, the only means of defense available was quarantining.
In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, thousands of local and state governments to implemented lockdown measures that required residents to stay in their homes and avoid public places. Unfortunately, for family violence survivors staying home and isolated from other people outside their domestic situation is actually more dangerous.
The lockdowns resulted in added financial and emotional stress on everyone, including those in dangerous domestic violence situations. Victims were (and in many cases some still are) forced to isolate themselves and quarantine with their abusers. Many domestic violence offenders took advantage of the already scary situation and ramped up their abusive behaviors.
Listed below are some examples on how the COVID-19 pandemic may negatively impact and escalate a family violence situation.
- A domestic violence abuser may give the victim wrong information regarding the pandemic as a way to control them. They may even spin tales about COVID in an effort to stop the victim from obtaining correct medical treatment.
- Domestic violence programs have faced significant issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic and government orders to socially distance/quarantine. Many shelters have stopped taking in new intakes and some victims may fear going to a shelter if there’s groups of people due to COVID-19.
- Abusers may try to withhold insurance information/cards or threaten to cancel a policy in an effort to control the victim
- Travel and social distancing restrictions may stop the victim from escaping their abuser
- The victim may have important items such as disinfectant or cold remedies taken from them by their abuse so they can’t escape
Domestic Violence COVID-19 Statistics 2020 and 2021
Prior to the lockdown, domestic violence crimes were on the decline over the last 20 years. Unfortunately, the isolation and stressful nature of COVID-19 lockdowns has led to an increase in family violence. Listed below are some statistics regarding domestic violence crimes in relation to COVID-19 in Texas and the entire nation. Please note, most domestic violence victims don’t report their abuse. So, these statistics may not reflect the true reality of family violence in the United States currently.
- Domestic violence incidents have increased nationwide by about 8%
- Various municipal law enforcement departments in Texas saw a significant increase of 18% in arrests/calls related to domestic violence in March 2020
- During March and April, there was a 9.7 increase in domestic violence calls to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. 1,330 calls a day.
- Prior to the pandemic, 1 in 4 women experienced intimate partner violence. A recent study by Brazoria County released that 1 in 3 women now experience IVP.
Domestic Violence COVID-19 Texas
The increase in domestic violence crimes across the nation have put a microscope on family violence cases. Now, law enforcement and prosecutors are much more likely to arrest and charge a person for a family violence offense as they fear the “violence” may escalate if you continue to quarantine. That is why we highly encourage you to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney if you’ve been arrested for a family violence offense.
A skilled and seasoned criminal defense lawyer will utilize all the resources at their disposal to fight for reduced or dismissed charges. They can present evidence that casts doubt on the prosecution’s case and expertly cross-examine witnesses to find inconsistencies in their statements. Not only this, but a skilled defense lawyer can also challenge any Protection Order filed against you that could prohibit you from seeing your children or living in your home.
With so much attention on domestic violence cases, it’s important you do everything possible to ensure your defense is rock solid. Don’t waste time shopping for rookie attorneys based on price. Securing the best defense will ultimately save you time, money, and your freedom.
Domestic Violence During COVID-19 | CCJ – Visit the official report by several members of the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice (CCJ) to read their data regarding COVID-19 and domestic violence. Access the site to learn more about domestic violence crimes during lockdown, what factors have increased statistics, and their methodology for the study.
COVID-19 Isolation Causing Rise in Domestic Violence in TX – Visit the official website for KXAN, a Texas NBC affiliate to learn more about how the pandemic has increased family violence in Texas. Hear from the Texas Advocacy Project CEO and representatives from the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Harris County Domestic Violence Lawyer | Houston, TX
If you or someone you know has been arrested for a domestic violence offense, call Horak Law. Our experienced legal team can assist you with Matthew Horak at the reigns. He can develop an effective and efficient defense designed to reduce or ultimately dismiss your charges. Call Horak Law today at (713) 225-8000 to set up your first consultation free of charge.