Domestic Violence Cases Down During COVID-19
Like most states, Maryland is under a shelter in place order. Residents are forced to stay at home until further notice. While this order is in place to protect the health of the general public, there are concerns that domestic violence rates could increase. After all, being stuck in the same place 24/7 with an abuser can lead to a higher number of cases, as well as more serious injuries and even deaths.
Domestic violence has increased in foreign countries. In the United Kingdom, the largest domestic abuse charity reported a 700% increase in calls in just one day. In France, domestic violence has increased 30% since the quarantine.
However, this has not been the case in the United States. Law enforcement officials are not seeing any more domestic violence cases than usual. In fact, in some places, such as Queens, New York, arrests have decreased by 40%. So isn’t that a good thing?
Not necessarily. There is concern that the reason for the decrease is not because domestic violence is actually down, but because the reporting mechanism is not working like it did in the past. For example, abuse victims may be identified at school or work. However, this cannot happen if people aren’t going to work or school. Nobody is seeing victims.
This means that the victims likely are scared to report the abuse on their own. This is because if the abuser finds out, they can lash out at the victim even more. It becomes an even more frightening situation. In many cases, though, victims just don’t know how to get help, especially if they have no family nearby. Who do they call?
So what happens to these victims? Police are trying to be more vigilant. When they receive domestic violence calls, they ask more questions to determine if this is an emergency situation.
Law enforcement officials want to ensure all citizens are safe during this time. They are worried about domestic violence going unreported. There is still abuse going on. There have been instances of parents slapping children, as well as men shoving their wives and throwing items at them over petty matters. People get stressed out and they lash out at their loved ones. This can sometimes lead to murder.
It seems as though abuse victims are relying more on shelters at this time. This is typically the case when drugs are involved or there is a concern over child custody.
Contact a Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Domestic violence often occurs between married couples, but it can involve children, parents and other family members as well. If you have been accused, make sure you have an aggressive legal team on your side.
A domestic violence charge can result in a restraining order or even criminal charges that could put you behind bars for many years. The Columbia domestic violence lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. can provide you with a solid defense. For a free consultation, call (410) 774-5987 or fill out the online form.