Domestic Violence in Quarantine: What to Do Next
In response to the current pandemic, New York State has been “on PAUSE” since March 22nd and has implemented stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and self-isolation techniques to help combat the spread of COVID-19. However, these tactics have had unanticipated consequences as the incidence of domestic abuse has increased. In New York State, domestic violence reports were up a staggering 30% in April this year compared to last year.
Most people like to think of the home as a safe haven, a place where you can escape from the dangers of the outside world. For victims of domestic violence, this is not the case. Stay-at-home orders leave them trapped in their own home with the very danger they seek to escape. Furthermore, factors such as financial strain, fear of the virus, and lack of resources resulting from the pandemic can make matters even worse.
If you or someone you know are dealing with domestic abuse in quarantine, there are resources out there to support you and our Garden City divorce attorneys at Fass & Greenberg can help.
Here are some strategies for maintaining safety during quarantine:
Seek help from local and national resources that can offer emotional support, safety strategies, and guidance for your situation, such as:
- The Safe Center L.I. (516-542-0404)
- L.I. Against Domestic Violence (631-666-8833)
- New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline via call (1-800-942-6906), text (844-997-2121), or online chat (opdv.ny.gov)
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline via phone (1-800-799-7233) or online chat (thehotline.org)
- Love Is Respect via phone (1-866-331-9474) or online chat (loveisrespect.org)
- Safe Horizon via phone (1-800-621-4673) or online chat (safehorizon.org/safechat)
Seek shelter with family members or friends who are in good health. If it is not possible to leave your home, keep weapons locked away and out of reach of an abuser. Restricting their access to potential weapons minimizes the risk of harm when tensions rise. Try to maintain a safe distance from your abuser while in the home and step outside when danger arises if possible. Always call 911 in the event of immediate or life-threatening danger.
File for a protective order or restraining order through the court system or a police station if the courts are limited in operation. New York’s family court systems are only hearing emergency and essential cases at this time, but as the state continues to gradually open up, there will be greater opportunities for legal intervention. A family law attorney can help you file for an emergency order of protection.
NYS has mobilized a task force to address the large increase in incidences of domestic violence during the pandemic, with the hope of finding innovative solutions for those in need. The Garden City divorce attorneys at Fass & Greenberg are here to assist your needs as well and can walk you through the steps necessary to seek shelter, file an emergency order of protection, or take action against your abuser. If you find yourself needing help during these trying times, contact Fass & Greenberg today.