The Spike of Domestic Violence During COVID-19



COVID-19 has triggered a lot of changes across the United States. In California, many residents have been home for weeks at a time, often unemployed, working from home, or with reduced hours.

With restricted movements, people are not only more confined, but they are also more restless. Unfortunately, stopping the spread of coronavirus may increase the likelihood that domestic violence in the home occurs, and, for some, it may be more severe than ever before.

Analyzing the Rise of Domestic Violence

A Bristol University sociologist who studies domestic violence, Marianne Hester, expected that the movement restrictions from coronavirus would increase the occurrence of domestic violence. She notes that occurrences tend to spike any time that families spend more time together, such as over the summer months and at Christmas time.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, domestic violence rates have risen to upwards of 20 to 30% in some parts of the United States.

Why Is Domestic Violence Rising?

Some of the most common tools of abuse are more abundant and easier to carry out during this time, including things like:

  • Constant surveillance
  • Isolation from friends, family, or employment
  • Regulation on access to basic needs like food, clothing, and sanitary facilities
  • Detailed or strict rules for behaviors

In general, there is also reduced access to support networks of family, friends, and even state resources. For some, it is harder to escape now than ever before because they do not have access to the means to get help.

One Sheriff notes that the financial stressors that this time is causing alone could set off those with a history of domestic violence. Unfortunately, the abuse often happens in front of children, and the children can become victims as well.

Fundraisers for non-profits are also being canceled, which leaves those resources with huge budget problems that can affect them for years to come. Their shelters are often closed to avoid the spread of coronavirus or offer only very temporary solutions under the circumstances.

Available Resources in San Francisco

The national domestic violence hotline can be reached at 1-800-799-7233 (1-800-799-SAFE). You can also find local resources in San Francisco here.

If you feel threatened, you can get a restraining order in place so that your abuser cannot come into contact with you. Even with COVID-19 shutting down many services, these emergency services are still available. Do not wait to contact attorney Terry A. Szucsko to discuss your options and get the process started: 415-392-2560 or use our online email form.