With the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, Texas is seeing an uptick in domestic violence due to the stay-at-home order that is currently in effect. With unemployment numbers surging, many victims are being forced to remain at home with their abusers without any relief. Given, the life-threatening situations this pandemic is creating for many, there is a lot of concern regarding the future, especially if the stay-at-home order is extended in an effort to continue to flatten the curve and reduce the spread of the virus.
Help for Victims of Domestic Violence
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 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.
During a time when social distancing is required, abusers will exert 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 take advantage of the COVID-19 crisis:
- He or she may escalate isolation tactics
- He or she may withhold essential items, including disinfectants or sanitizer
- He or she may withhold access to insurance cards or altogether cancel health insurance to prevent their victim from seeking medical attention
- He or she may share incorrect information about the crisis to keep their victim from seeking medical attention if they are exhibiting symptoms of the virus
Moreover, due to the current climate, many of the programs survivors often rely on may be substantially impacted and limited and travel restrictions may create issues for an escape plan. If you are working on an escape plan, consider alternatives to shelters, which are 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 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.