As a result of being locked inside at home due to repeated stay at home orders and lockdowns, there has been a marked increase in cases of domestic violence, not only in America but throughout the Western world. In the United States of America alone there has been an 8.1 percent increase of violence happening within the home says the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice (NCCCJ). These figures come after a review looked at a number of domestic and international studies which analyzed cases of domestic violence pre and post the worldwide pandemic.
Reporting of domestic violence
The very first reports of domestic violence during the pandemic all came through the police force, whilst later on it became evident that many cases were being reported via helplines and through medical professionals assisting the victims of this type of crime. The reason why there was no sudden boom in apparent cases of domestic violence is due to the stigma and embarrassment that surrounds this issue. There is also the fact that it does not always get the attention or is not always taken seriously by the police force.
With the victims of domestic abuse being trapped indoors with the person or people who are abusing them due to the stay at home orders and lockdowns, it can be hard for a victim to actually report a case of domestic violence without their abuser being aware of them doing it.
Because of these factors, many people believe that the 8.1 percent increase in domestic violence that has been touted by the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice (NCCCJ) is the actual minimum number and definitely not the ceiling.
Why domestic violence occurs
Although it is clear that there has been an increase in cases of domestic violence during the pandemic, the exact reason as to why this has happened is still somewhat unclear. However, what is known is that economic factors like being insecure financially, work unemployment, and the stresses of having to homeschool children are all things that can and do exacerbate some of the risk factors associated with domestic violence.
Some of the coping strategies that are used in order to deal with these things include drinking alcohol and taking illegal substances, which do not help and only work to increase the risk further.
This has seen some of the most vulnerable people in America put into exceptionally challenging circumstances for the past year or so.
What to do if you have experience domestic violence
If you are currently experiencing domestic violence within your home then you should try to leave and stay with a friend and family member where it is safe and yoru abuser cannot get to you. From there, you can get in contact with the authorities to open up a case and have it investigated. You may also want to get some expert domestic violence lawyers, such as Stein & Markus involved in order to take your case to court.