Stay-At-Home Orders and Domestic Violence

I previously posted on March 25 about the increased risk during this period of stay-at-home orders to victims of domestic violence. There is now significant data showing a marked increase in the number of domestic violence cases worldwide. The New York Times wrote about this recently. Multiple news outlets have written about this crisis, including the New York Times and NBC news among others.

The situation worldwide is so dire that the United Nations has called for urgent action to combat the worldwide surge in domestic violence cases. Many believe that governments should have been more prepared for this obvious by-product of the COVID-19 pandemic, with people being shut in together over long periods of time combined often with people who have lost their jobs, are frightened, worried, experiencing great stress and possibly drinking.

Cincinnati is also experiencing an increased volume in the number of cases being reported. The YWCA is now housing victims around the city in hotels. While stressed for resources, the hotline is always up and running. The hotline number is 513-421-4420.

Of course, domestic violence is not limited to spouses. It extends to children, with many people being extremely concerned about the inevitable rise of child abuse, including child sexual abuse, under the stay-at-home orders.  People are now home all day with children, sometimes multiple children, with parents now having to home school their children while also trying to work remotely, if they are employed. This situation is causing great stress. In an opinion piece written in the New York Times, a pediatrician expresses his concerns about this increase, pointing out that often it is teachers or school counselors who observe that a child is being abused and that teacher often reports the abuse to authorities. With children out of school, those extra eyes are not available to protect children who are victims of abuse.

The courts are open to obtain Domestic Violence Civil Protection Orders.  If you live in Hamilton County, the Domestic Relations Court is located at 800 Broadway in downtown.  Also, if you have been abused and called the police, your spouse or partner may be charged with criminal domestic violence, in which case you can seek a Temporary Protection Order through the criminal court.