For victims of family violence or those in abusive relationships, self-isolation or quarantine poses a higher risk. As victims are in close proximity to their abuser due to the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order issued by Governor Inslee, abusive partners can use the pandemic against the victim to cause fear and manipulate the person.
The New York Times reports that domestic violence cases in China has “nearly doubled since cities went into lockdown.” Due to this global pandemic, concerns of family violence are on the rise. As hospitals, police officers, organizations, and city, state, and federal agencies are focused on the health crisis and providing critical care and resources, it is crucial that victims know the support and legal options available to them.
Self-isolation is risky enough in an abusive relationship; however, when a child is unable to attend school or daycare, the risk could increase. According to a report published by UNICEF, children who live with domestic violence are not only enduring the distress silently and alone but are more likely “to be affected by violence as adults – either as victims or perpetrators.” Additionally, children exposed to intimate partner violence in the home are “15 times more likely to be physically and/or sexually assaulted than the national average.”
Washington state holds the health and wellbeing of individuals and families in utmost importance during these times. King County Superior Court Order #11A allows for the courts to continue to hear emergency matters. This includes individuals seeking a protection order from domestic violence, stalking, or harassment.
If you or someone you know needs legal assistance with a protection order, restraining order, or family law related matter contact the Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson at (206) 712 – 2756. As the coronavirus pandemic has many people crippled in fear, we want to assure you that we are here to help! Our dedicated attorneys can engage with you through e-mail, phone, video conferencing. Having legal assistance can help you understand and know the resources available to you during this hectic time, and help you take the steps necessary to guarantee your safety.