When Connecticut spouses were forced to remain under the same roof during the recent stay-at-home orders, it led to a spike in domestic violence calls to law enforcement. The lockdowns increased women’s isolation and made it more difficult for them to reach out for help. The abuser has much more an ability to exert control when their victim is stuck in the same space.
One of the common tactics that abusers use is to cut their victim’s contact with family and friends. This becomes easier when the victim is trapped. The combination of proximity and the stress of the lockdown is a toxic mix that increases the danger for victims. The number of domestic violence calls has increased but not as measurably as expected as many victims are afraid to call for help.
Another difficult element in these relationships is the fact that the abuser may have lost control of other areas of their life. This increases their need to feel power over their victims. At the same time, the stay-at-home orders make it more difficult for the victim to access some of their basic needs, making it harder to escape their current situation. Notwithstanding the danger, victims of domestic abuse need to stay in contact with family and friends so they can seek help on behalf of the victim if the person cannot seek help themselves.
Those who are stuck in this type of relationship and either need help obtaining a temporary restraining order against their abuser or in seeking a divorce should retain a general attorney for legal advice. Victims often do not know where to begin, and an attorney can advise them of their legal rights and the resources that are available to them in case they try to get out of the abusive relationship.