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An Analysis of Increase in Domestic Violence Crimes During COVID-19 Lockdown, Its Effects, and Safeguards

The Covid-19 pandemic has upended people’s lives throughout the globe. It started as a health crisis but eventually turned into a socio-economic and political crisis. It has changed the way in which we used to live our lives.

The Covid-19 Lockdown has caused widespread unemployment and financial crisis. It has caused an enormous strain on the health, finance, and emotional status of the general public.

The cases of domestic violence and sexual assaults have increased during the lockdown. The National Domestic Violence Hotline informed that the total number of calls increased by 9% in March and by 15% in April.

But, data from police reports are not representing this increase in domestic violence cases. The victims of such crimes on many occasions do not file a complaint with the police.

Many times due to the fear of future domestic violence that they may face because of filing a complaint with the police, many victims of domestic violence do not file a complaint with the police.

Past research suggests that the abusers try to isolate a victim from their support network. During the Covid-19 Lockdown, more than 1/3rd of the entire world’s population was under government sanctioned isolation. This has provided new opportunities for domestic abusers.

Domestic violence is violence committed against one’s intimate partner. Most people think that domestic violence means physical abuse committed against an intimate partner in a domestic setting. But in reality, domestic violence can take many forms such as verbal abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, sexual abuse, etc.

Domestic violence can result in a wide range of negative effects. Physical abuse can lead to permanent bodily injuries. Emotional abuse can cause many physical and mental ailments. Such abuse can lead to insomnia, panic attacks, substance abuse, thoughts of self-harm, etc.

Research suggests that children are generally the silent victims of such abuse. In the United States, 20% of children have witnessed some form of domestic abuse. The children who are abused to continuous domestic abuse grow up with the following ailments:

  1. Abused children themselves become abused.
  2. Inflict self-harm and think of committing harm.
  3. Abused children have poor social skills.
  4. Become an alcoholic or get involved in substance abuse.

A victim of domestic violence must make a safety plan. It is a plan to keep a victim and their family safe. The victims of domestic violence must take help from the county and use all available resources.

The victim of domestic violence must do the following:

  1. During the inception of an attack, the victim must try to escape from the place of danger along with their children.
  2. Do everything to protect you and your children.
  3. Document your injuries.
  4. Call for help during an attack. Scream as loud as you can. You must attract attention.
  5. Stay away from enclosed spaces like bathrooms.
  6. If you experience continuous abuse, then practice your escape. You must keep yourself ready to face such violence.
  7. Get a restraining order as soon as possible and file a formal complaint with the law enforcement agencies.

You have to go to a competent court and file the necessary paper works to apply for a restraining order. You must describe the situation and why there is a reasonable threat of violence or abuse. The judge will review your application and if the judge feels appropriate he will issue a temporary restraining order.

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