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On March 20, 2020, Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a statewide shelter-in-place order. The order was intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe in their own homes. Although the order may have saved lives and helped Illinois flatten the curve, for others, the news was not good. These are the individuals that are victims of domestic violence. For many of these victims, the only relief they had from the threat of abuse prior to the pandemic was when they went to work, or when their abuser did. It was not long before Chicago, and many other areas, saw an increase in domestic violence. Below are a few of the factors that place victims at greater risk during the pandemic.
Abusers typically want to isolate their victim from their workplace, friends, and family members. Through this isolation, the abuser can use gaslighting techniques on their victims and are more easily able to control them. With social isolation mandated by the government, it became easier to isolate victims of domestic violence, which can trigger future incidents.
The novel coronavirus brought an unknown threat to Illinois and the rest of the United States. The unknown is extremely stressful, particularly when people are unsure of how the virus spreads, how to contain it, and how to protect loved ones. When abusers become stressed, they commonly take it out on their victims, particularly when each person is forced to remain in the same household.
There is no doubt that feelings of anxiety have also increased around the country since the pandemic. People are losing their jobs, are unsure of if they will ever return to the same position, and are worried about their economic future. This added stress can also cause people to take it out on their victims, and arguments about finances can also fuel domestic violence.
Alcohol, especially when a person abuses the substances, is a known precursor to domestic violence. It is also widely known that alcohol consumption has also increased during the course of the pandemic. This combination is worrisome for domestic violence victims if their abuser turns to alcohol during this time.
When the wheels of the world are working as they should, domestic violence victims have plenty of resources available. Although shelters have remained open, it is more difficult for victims to physically get themselves there, and many of the support centers have shuttered their doors. With no one to talk to, and seemingly no way out, domestic violence victims think they are out of options and the abuse continues.
If you are a victim of domestic violence and want to divorce your spouse, our experienced Hinsdale family lawyers at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio are here to help. We understand how difficult it has been during the pandemic for so many people and if you are in a bad situation, we want to help you find a way out of it. Call us today at 630-920-8855 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys.