According to an April article in The New York Times, quarantine and stay-at-home orders resulting from COVID-19 have led to a rise in domestic violence cases. Governors across the country put these orders to flatten the curve and avoid overfilling hospitals. Though stay-at-home orders have ended, many are still opting to avoid public spaces with a recent surge in cases.
The penalties for domestic violence, even for a first-time conviction, are harsh. If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, you need a knowledgeable domestic violence attorney on your side.
More Time at Home Has Increased Domestic Violence Cases
Domestic violence and family violence reports often increase when family members are close to each other for long periods of time. Without a pandemic, summer vacations and holiday periods see an increase in reports.
In March, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards established a mandatory stay-at-home order. Residents were only allowed to leave their homes for work, groceries, and doctor visits. Even so, most companies began remote work and doctors set up virtual appointments. For domestic violence victims, doctor visits and grocery shopping are among few opportunities to be away from their abusers. With the increased amount of time spent at home, victims are likely to sustain abuse more frequently.
One example of this includes a 2019 study from the effects of Hurricane Harvey, which drew a correlation between increased stress brought about by natural disaster situations and an increase in domestic violence cases during the hurricane.
How to Prevent Fights from Escalating During COVID-19
During quarantine, families and partners are forced to spend more time together than ever before. Gone are the practical means of taking time away to recover or gain more perspective, such as going to work, grabbing something to eat, or going for a coffee. Still, there are steps you can take to prevent an argument from turning into a domestic violence situation.
It’s crucial to remember these are unprecedented times. The stress and anxiety of a raging pandemic will affect people differently. Just because you’re able to process the situation does not mean your partner can. It’s more important than ever to be patient with them. If an argument becomes too heated, walk away from the situation. Go for a walk to clear your head. Just make sure to wear a face covering and practice social distancing.
Many therapists are also still offering sessions through Zoom or other video conferencing systems. If stay-at-home orders bring out issues you and your partner have never experienced before, it could be in both of your best interests to seek help from a marriage counselor.
I Was Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence: What Should I Do?
Domestic violence is a real issue and affects people all across Louisiana, and state prosecutors take these charges and accusations very seriously. But there are some cases where people have been falsely accused of domestic violence. If this is the case, you’ll want to obtain legal representation immediately. The accuser has most likely already spoken to law enforcement and hired an attorney.
A domestic violence charge may lead to jail time, loss of child custody, and large fines. You must reach out to a criminal defense attorney to protect your future.
Contact Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys in Louisiana
Attorney Eric Johnson of The John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm is a problem solver who always tries to negotiate deals with prosecutors and judges. Other times, he will try the matter before a judge or jury. Eric will not settle for any plea deal that is not in the best interest of his client. With over 24 years of experience, Eric Johnson will strive for the best possible outcome for your case.
Call (318) 377-1555 or complete an online contact form to schedule your free consultation.