Domestic Violence During Covid-19
Covid-19 has taken a toll on virtually every aspect of our lives. Staying home, while also recognizing the state of the public health climate, has placed an enormous emotional burden on many people. The United Nations Population Fund estimates a 20% increase in interpersonal violence worldwide after just 3-months in quarantine (Stanley, 2020). In the State of New York, domestic violence increased by over 30% in the month of April alone (Office of the Governor, 2020). The state also saw a 12% increase in intimate partner victimizations for the first quarter of 2020, as compared to the first quarter of 2019 (Office of the Governor, 2020). As the original epicenter of COVID-19, New York reveals an imminent future for the rest of the country. As one of the hardest hit states, New Jersey has also seen an increase in domestic violence throughout the same period (NJBia, 2020).
Domestic violence is not limited to physical or sexual abuse. Stalking, emotional abuse, sexual assault, intimidation, kidnapping, false imprisonment, and harassment are all forms of domestic violence. Becoming the victim of domestic violence can result in a variety of mental health struggles. This, in combination with times of great duress posed by a public health crisis, can have extremely harmful and even lethal consequences. If you or someone you know has become a victim of domestic violence during COVID-19, or if you were already a victim of domestic violence prior to the beginning of the pandemic, please reach out to any of the resources listed at https://www.nj.gov/dcf/women/domestic/ or the New Jersey Domestic Violence hotline 1-800-572-7233. The national domestic hotline has two options – a call or chat feature if you are unable to speak on the phone. The phone number or the national domestic violence hotline is 1-800-799-7233. To chat with a representative, visit thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474.
The number of people reporting symptoms of anxiety in the United States rose 370% from January to May of 2020, and the number of people reporting symptoms of depression rose 394% in the same time-period (Medical Press, 2020). Depression and anxiety could both be a result of, and perpetuate, domestic violence. The isolation, loneliness, and lack of routine that has come with quarantine can be damaging for everyone’s mental health, even if they don’t suffer from pre-existing psychiatric conditions. The severity of pre-existing domestic violence cases has escalated, and the number of new cases has increased. If you or your child is suffering from domestic violence at the hands of your spouse, you do have choices. Please reach out to your local or national domestic violence hotline to be connected with resources. If you are interested in pursuing a divorce in New Jersey, it is important to know your options. Depending on your ability to effectively communicate with your partner and the circumstances leading up to your divorce, you may be able to avoid the stressful and costly litigation process.
If you and your spouse are considering divorce during the Covid-19 pandemic, please visit https://lindapiff.com/ to learn more about different types of New Jersey divorce and access information that may help you decide which divorce process is best suited for you and your partner. If you wish to speak to experienced divorce attorney Linda L. Piff, Esq. to learn more about which divorce option may be best suited to you and your spouse, please call (732) 556-0240.
1. A Double Pandemic: Domestic Violence in the Age of COVID-19. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cfr.org/in-brief/double-pandemic-domestic-violence-age-covid-19
2. Following Spike in Domestic Violence During COVID-19 Pandemic, Secretary to the Governor Melissa Derosa & NYS Council on Women & Girls Launch Task Force to Find Innovative Solutions to Crisis. (2020, May 22). Retrieved from https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/following-spike-domestic-violence-during-covid-19-pandemic-secretary-governor-melissa-derosa
3. Njbia. (2020, July 23). Domestic Violence Cases Rising as COVID-19 Drags On – NJBIA – New Jersey Business & Industry Association. Retrieved from https://njbia.org/domestic-violence-cases-rising-as-covid-19-drags-on/
4. Staff, S. X. (2020, July 08). Rising number of people report anxiety, depression during COVID-19. Retrieved from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-people-anxiety-depression-covid-.html
5. Stanley, M. (2020, May 09). Why the Increase in Domestic Violence During COVID-19? Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/making-sense-chaos/202005/why-the-increase-in-domestic-violence-during-covid-19
The New Jersey statewide domestic violence hotline is 1-800-572-SAFE (7233), and can help direct survivors to the closest local resources for help. The National Domestic Violence Hotline’s Deaf Videophone is available to assist Deaf survivors at 1-855-812-1001. If you are unable to call the hotline, there is a chat or text with an advocate option available on the National Domestic Violence Hotline website, at https://www.thehotline.org/. Once there, click on “Chat Now”; or text LOVEIS to 22522.
1. Hanna, Amanda. “Your Top 15 Questions About Divorce and Real Estate: The Pros Weigh In.” HomeLight Blog, 14 Feb. 2019, www.homelight.com/blog/divorce-real-estate-questions/.
2. Drizin, Lee A. “8 Common Questions about Real Estate and Divorce.” Divorce Magazine, 29 Apr. 2018, www.divorcemag.com/articles/common-questions-real-estate-and-divorce.