The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown have changed life in many ways for Americans all across the country. Unfortunately, while the COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for tension, uncertainty, and financial problems for millions of Americans, it has also resulted in many other negative outcomes, not least of which is the apparent rise in domestic violence claims throughout Bloomington and McLean County.
Many Americans have been forced to leave their jobs or start working from home amid the COVID-19 lockdown out of public health and safety concerns. Unfortunately, this change has led to many business closures, and millions of Americans are now out of work. This is just one reason behind a spike in marital problems in Bloomington, McLean County, and all over the country.
Why Is Domestic Violence Becoming More Common?
The simplest answer for the reason behind the apparent spike in domestic violence claims is the fact that when people are forced to spend more time at home, there is a higher chance of violent issues to manifest in the home. “Domestic violence” refers to dangerous, neglectful, or directly abusive behavior that occurs between family or household members. Domestic violence can occur between intimate partners, spouses, extended family members, or even parents and their children.
There are countless possible reasons why an individual may resort to domestic violence, and the current COVID-19 situation entails several issues that are absolutely driving forces behind the growing number of domestic violence cases in the US. People are losing their jobs, they are fearful about the future, they are stressed about raising their kids during a global pandemic with few to no options for childcare, and they may be forced into an uncomfortable and stressful home working environment that prevents them from doing their best work.
Types of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is a blanket term that applies to many different situations and behaviors, but the term pertains to such incidents that occur between family members or household members. Some of the most commonly seen forms of domestic violence include:
- Physical abuse.
- Verbal threats and/or emotional abuse, to the point that victims fear for their safety.
- Willful neglect of a child or disabled family member.
- Sexual battery, including unwelcome touching, molestation of a child, or rape.
- Threatening behaviors and terroristic threats, including damaging property or displaying weapons during arguments.
There are many forms of domestic violence and many reasons it can occur, from intentional misconduct and mental illness to addiction and psychological distress. COVID-19 restrictions and the massive wave of unemployment may also be contributing to substance abuse rates. Some people may be more likely to commit acts of domestic violence while drunk or under the influence of illicit drugs, and they may have more incentive to indulge in these things due to being stuck at home during the lockdown.
Addressing Domestic Violence from a Legal Perspective
Domestic violence can have significant repercussions on any family that experiences it. Domestic violence continues to be a driving force behind the divorce rate and also leads to complicated questions about child custody and visitation rights. When you or a loved one have sustained domestic violence amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s vital to know your rights and what protections are available to you.
An experienced Bloomington family law attorney can help you obtain a restraining order or protective order if you need to shield yourself or your loved ones from an abusive family member or resident of your household. While the court systems throughout the country remain operating at limited capacity, most are still able to process divorce cases to some degree, and special attention is given to claims of domestic violence.
Do not hesitate to seek legal protection when you have suffered any form of domestic violence. Allowing the issue to remain unchecked increases the chances of it happening again or happening in a more severe fashion than the first time. Connecting with an attorney after reporting an incident to law enforcement as soon as possible is the best way to address any form of domestic violence.
Resolving Your Domestic Violence Matter
A Bloomington family law attorney can help you explore all of the legal protections available to you under McLean County and Illinois law. When you act quickly to resolve an issue of domestic violence, you can not only potentially prevent the offender from engaging in further abuse but also start the legal proceedings you require to rebuild your life.
A domestic violence lawsuit may precipitate or align with divorce proceedings, and reliable legal counsel can guide you through any questions you might have about child custody, child support, and legal protection for you and your family. A domestic violence case will also likely result in criminal prosecution of the offender.
Your Bloomington divorce attorney can help you secure a fair, reasonable, and safe divorce decree in the event your spouse committed an act of domestic violence against you or a member of your family.