Beyond the stress of trying to stay healthy in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, many couples in New York are struggling with the reality of having to spend extended periods of time together. The risk of domestic violence has been shown to be higher during quarantine, with spouses working from home or having been laid off from their jobs. In addition, children whose schools are closed are home full time. Even if you have a healthy marriage, the stressors of this new home environment can be most trying. You and your spouse should work together to find ways to communicate your questions and concerns, while also allowing each other space and most importantly to avoid hostile arguments. For those in marriages where domestic violence has been present before, the home environment is even more apt to result in new incidents of domestic violence.

The stay-at-home order takes its toll.

Before the pandemic factored into home life, over half of the nation’s violent crimes involved domestic violence. Now, job loss or social confinement could agitate abusers who take out their frustrations on those in the home.

A recent article in the New York Times pointed out that organizations that help protect and support domestic violence victims are struggling to adjust to the change in circumstances. Numerous support groups, counseling centers and therapy appointments have been suspended. Yet, the need for help remains.

Many families are experiencing increased anxiety because of long hours spent in close quarters, and for some people, that means an increased threat of domestic violence. If this is your situation, it is crucial that you understand your options to protect yourself and those you love. Although the courts in New York State are essentially “closed” for all services other than those which are defined to be an “essential” matter, instances of domestic violence are certainly amongst the category of situations deemed essential for the courts to address, and relief in the form of an Order of Protection can be sought.

Get the support you need as soon as possible.

Our firm is available to assist you in any situation involving domestic violence and is available for consultations by phone and by video conference. If you have concerns about domestic violence during the COVID-19 crisis or anytime, our firm is here to help in whatever way we can.