The COVID-19 Crisis and Domestic Violence
COVID-19 has brought a plethora of horrors to our worlds on a daily basis, but some Canadians have been suffering in ways others don’t have to think about. In addition to a world where masks are a regular sight and social distancing has become a part of normal life, domestic violence is swiftly becoming a growing stain on our society. While Canadians have been following public health instructions to stay home, this COVID-19 safety measure poses a different type of threat for those who are battling abusers. In one grim example of this published by CBC News, Battered Women Support Services is asking for more crisis line volunteers because the organization asserts that the number of calls has risen by 300 percent since the pandemic began. This is highly disturbing as before this crisis even began, it was already estimated that one Canadian woman was killed an average of every six days by a domestic partner. In addition, more than 360,000 Canadian children reportedly witness some form of domestic violence in their families every year.
Why is Domestic Violence on the Rise?
In life as we knew it before the virus, domestic partners tended to spend at least some part of their days away from each other. In contrast, COVID-19-related quarantines and lockdowns have completely restructured how people conduct themselves and have altered how much time Canadians and others around the globe are spending with their families. Unfortunately, all of this time together has led to more incidents of intimate partner violence. This is the case for reasons such as:
- Increased stress. Job loss rates are high, morale is low, and stress is escalating throughout the country. In this seemingly constant state of worry, some people become the unfortunate victims of their partner.
- More isolation. Unfortunately, increased isolation means an abuser has increased control, enabling them to commit the act of abuse with far less witnesses to intervene. Without many Canadians going to a workplace or spending significant amounts of time with people outside the household, this can lead to the abuse becoming normal behavior.
- Rising alcohol use. As of April, Statistics Canada stated that 14 percent of Canadians it surveyed reported consuming more alcohol than they had been pre-pandemic. Mind-altering substances can unfortunately only add to creating a perfect storm for relationships that are already filled with violence and abuse, especially when combined with the stress and isolation outlined above.
Protection from Abuse Restraining Orders
Even when courthouses have limited services during the COVID-19 pandemic, they have still been open for emergency services including for those affected by domestic violence who need to file a restraining order. If you think you may be the victim of domestic violence, you may want to consider contacting a family lawyer who can help you begin undertaking legal measures to stop it.
You Can Lean on Us for Help
If you are the victim of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic or any other time, the right legal team can help you put a stop to it. As the Mississauga family lawyers at Zagazeta Garcia LLP, we help empower survivors of domestic violence by working with them to pursue legal measures like restraining orders against abusers. You can depend on us to help you receive the legal counsel you deserve while we provide you with compassionate and zealous advocacy. Contact us today to begin with a confidential conversation about your legal options.