For many of us, the stay at home order has been a way to keep ourselves safe and flatten the curve. But for some, home is more dangerous than ever. Victims of domestic violence are currently being directed to stay within the confines of their home and their abuser, causing domestic violence numbers to spike globally during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Over the last few months, the number of reported cases and calls to domestic violence help lines have rapidly increased. In France alone, reports of domestic violence have skyrocketed 36% during the pandemic. In the United Kingdom, calls to domestic violence help lines have increased by 25%. In China, calls have tripled.
Noting this increase in numbers, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres issued a call to action for world leaders everywhere. In a video he released on his Twitter account, he stated, “Violence is not confined to the battlefield. For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest — in their own homes…I urge all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plans for COVID-19.” He further suggested countries deem women’s shelters essential services and that they make online outreach groups readily available to their citizens.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, there are resources that can help. The National Domestic Violence Hotline’s website has published several articles on what to do during COVID-19 if you are feeling unsafe in your home. They are also available by phone 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 and 1-800-787-3224 (en Español), or by chat.
If you are in need of a family law or divorce attorney, call our office at 215-567-1530 (for Pennsylvania matters) or 856 273-6679 (for New Jersey matters) and ask to speak with Heidi E. Anderson, Esquire. You may also send us an email at [email protected].