Domestic Violence Expected to Increase During COVID-19 Outbreak

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused many states to issue stay-at-home orders, forcing residents to stay in their homes all day and every day – unless it’s to perform an essential task (e.g. grocery shopping or going to the pharmacy) – and many businesses to shut down for the time being. Unfortunately, this has led to millions of people losing their jobs. 

When families with each other throughout each day, the frightening news circulating all day, job loss, the stress of keeping up with household expenses, these factors combine can lead to domestic violence. In fact, law enforcement officials and domestic violence shelters in every state expect to see a significant rise in domestic abuse incidents throughout the quarantine period. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), gender-based violence tends to increase during epidemics, natural disasters, wars, and other times of crisis. Axios reported that in China a local police station near Wuhan received triple the amount of domestic violence calls in February 2020 compared to the same month last year. In Phoenix, the state police department reported 3,587 domestic violence calls in March 2020, compared to 3,395 in March 2019, which is a nearly six percent increase. 

While domestic violence in the United States is a serious problem, not every allegation is true. Unfortunately, many people are arrested based on false allegations because a current or former spouse wants to gain leverage in custody proceedings or a relative is seeking revenge. 

In Arizona, if a police officer has probable cause to believe a person committed domestic violence, the officer may arrest him/her. According to state law, an officer can make an arrest even if the alleged victim doesn’t want to press charges. 

During a pandemic, the last thing you want to deal with is a criminal charge against you. If you have been accused of domestic violence, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights and freedom. 

At Bowman, Smith & Kallen, we are still open and available to help current and prospective clients facing domestic violence charges. Our Yuma domestic violence attorneys can handle your case by phone or video conferencing. 

Contact us today at (928) 433-2355 to schedule a free consultation. Get more than 100 years of combined experience on your side! 

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