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Coping with domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, family units are quarantining together worldwide. These sudden movement restrictions aimed towards halting the spread of the coronavirus may be a direct and proximate cause for a surge in domestic violence complaints. A Side Effect of Coronavirus: Maryland Experts say more Domestic Violence, Fewer Victims Seeking Help.  According to experts, complaints of domestic abuse often increase when families are forced to spend extensive amounts of time together. Now, with families on lockdown and the government placing restrictions on all forms of public gatherings, the forced proximity and stress of the coronavirus outbreak has become a primary factor in this continuing rise of violence within homes.

In areas such as Baltimore, law enforcement has yet to experience an increase in the volume of domestic violence calls, however Baltimore-area service providers believe that this can be attributed to victims being confined with their abusers, thereby creating an environment in which they are unable to reach out themselves. Domestic Abusers Can Control Your Device. There also seems to be widespread confusion regarding what services and resources are available during this time, which inhibits victims from coming forward.

While the quarantines will eventually end, the danger to individuals in abusive relationships seems to intensify as the confinement drags on. If you or someone you know is currently quarantined with an abusive partner during this pandemic, we encourage you to seek help using the resources and tools provided below. In many states such as Maryland, nonprofit agencies will assist victims of domestic violence either get to a safer location or guide them through securing a get-away plan for when they are ready to leave regardless of a stay-at-home order. The House of Ruth, a domestic violence shelter in Maryland, has thus far maintained its emergency shelter will remain open for women and children during the pandemic. Shelters Gird for Domestic Violence Spike During Covid-19 Outbreak. A link to the complete set of agencies and hotlines still operating during the coronavirus outbreak are provided for your use. Maryland Domestic Service Providers. Additional hotline information is provided for those who wish to contact service providers specializing in domestic abuse for support and guidance. The Maryland Judiciary has provided direction that although Maryland courts are closed for most matters, victims of domestic violence can still seek protective orders during the pandemic. At the present time Petitions are to be filed with the District Court Commissioner and the direction from the Judiciary is to call ahead.

If you need any help in assessing the most appropriate action that is best for you, we encourage you to reach out to an experienced family attorney.

Additional Hotline information:
National Domestic Violence hotline: 1-800-799-7233
House of Ruth’s 24-hour hotline: (410) 889-7884
TurnAround 24-hour helpline: (443) 279-0379
If you feel you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1

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