With the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, Texas saw an uptick in domestic violence due to the stay-at-home order. With a surge in unemployment numbers, many victims were forced to remain at home with their abusers without any relief. Given, the life-threatening situations the pandemic created for many, there has been a lot of concern regarding the future, especially if the stay-at-home order was extended in an effort to continue to flatten the curve and reduce the spread of the virus.
Help for Victims of Domestic Violence During Covid
If you are in an abusive relationship and need support, there are some options available to you. You can reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or, if you cannot safely use the phone, you can visit this website. Additionally, you can still apply for a protective order (restraining order) in Texas to protect yourself or other members of your household from an abusive person. Even if courts are closed, you can still pursue emergency relief and file for a protective order.
How Domestic Abuse Increased During Covid-19
During a time when social distancing was required, abusers may have exerted more control than ever over their victim, taking advantage of an overwhelming situation to wield more power over their victim.
Below are some of the ways in which a violent or abusive partner may have taken advantage of the COVID-19 crisis:
- He or she escalated isolation tactics
- He or she withheld essential items, including disinfectants or sanitizer
- He or she withheld access to insurance cards or altogether canceled health insurance to prevent their victim from seeking medical attention
- He or she shared incorrect information about the crisis to keep their victim from seeking medical attention if they were exhibiting symptoms of the virus
Moreover, due to the pandemic climate, many of the programs survivors often relied on may have been substantially impacted and limited, and travel restrictions may have created issues for escape plans.
If you are working on an escape plan due to domestic violence, consider alternatives to shelters, which may be limited by the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay with friends, family, sleep in your vehicle or a motel, and practice good hygiene habits. Avoid touching your face, wash your hands regularly, and try not to touch surfaces others have had contact with.
Reach Out to Our Compassionate Family Law Attorney for the Help You Need
If you are in an abusive situation, you might feel alone and scared during an already uncertain and difficult time. Despite many of the limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, you can still secure skilled legal counsel and pursue a protective order to ensure you and any other abused household members remain safe, regardless of this pandemic.
At The Law Office of Derek S. Ritchie, PLLC, our family law attorney in San Antonio has the experience, knowledge, and compassion to handle these sensitive cases and will do what it takes to keep you safe.
Call our law office today at (210) 761-4943 for a phone consultation.