After COVID-19, You May Need a Divorce Lawyer
With the advent of lockdowns around the world, countries such as South Africa and France have seen a surge in calls to violence prevention help lines; France had an increase of 30% the first week of its coronavirus quarantine. Domestic violence in the home, often considered a safe place, has increased during this pandemic, according to the UN. Those who have experienced these issues before are now seeing more violence as proximity in quarantine with abusers is the result.
Increased Anxiety and Stressors
Loss of jobs, stay-at-home orders, having to practice social or physical distancing, the threat of being sick, and depressing, scary news all contribute to a general feeling of anxiety that has increased during the coronavirus pandemic. A husband or wife who was somewhat abusive before may now become increasingly violent or mentally abusive as frustration deepens. An abuser may withhold medicine, give the wrong information regarding the pandemic, get angry when help with the household is suggested, and be violent. Often, abuse takes the form of emotional and physical torment.
Staying Safe During COVID-19 Within Your Own Home
You may need to reach out to a help line or begin to think of distancing yourself from your abuser. This means leaving your home for a place that is safe from domestic violence. The next step would be talking to a lawyer who can help with divorce and separation, or, in cases without violence, mediation.
Keeping Your Family Safe During and After the Pandemic
You want your children to be safe from all kinds of abuse as well as the virus. If you are thinking of leaving an abusive situation, it is important to do the following:
- Tell your kids the truth.
- Say “I love you” to them.
- Prepare them for a change of address.
- Avoid blame.
Keep explanations simple. Acknowledge their feelings and let them be honest with you. Kids need to know that it is not their fault; however, if they have been in a stay-at-home situation, they may already know why you are thinking of a divorce. Having seen physical or psychological abuse close up, your children may not need explanations.
Separation and Divorce
With every household situation being different, you may need a customized solution that is geared toward important issues. You don’t need more squabbles when you’re trying to resolve your family problems in stressful times.
In some cases, separation agreements may be the first step in distancing you and your family from a chaotic home or one where a spouse is making life difficult. To add to the problem, being cooped up with an unhappy person adds to the chaos and disruption. It increases the stress that everyone is feeling during the pandemic. A new layer of stress has been added as people are now in quarantine together whether they like it or not.
As witnessed in China, the divorce rate reportedly spiked across two provinces as quarantine restrictions were lifted. Relationships were very affected by the pandemic in that country. According to Time magazine, the number of domestic violence cases in China reported to the local police tripled in February of 2020 compared to February of 2019.
If your partner is physically abusive and you have injuries, you should not let the fear of this virus prevent you from seeking medical attention. Fear should not also be allowed to prevent you from separating yourself from an abusive partner during the pandemic. You may now be at the stage, even if abuse is not part of your situation, where you are contemplating divorce. Know that you are not alone in this. Caring help is just a phone call or text away whether to a domestic violence hotline or to our office.
If you have experienced domestic violence problems or are thinking of contacting a Pennsylvania divorce lawyer, give the Law Office of Joanne Kleiner a call at (215) 886-1266 today to arrange a confidential appointment in Jenkintown. We can help you go over your options and move forward with your life.