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Domestic Violence Since the Pandemic Isolation in Raleigh, NC

It’s been a full year since COVID-19 closed down the state of North Carolina and the entire world. Beginning in March of 2020, many countries began ordering “lockdowns” for citizens to stem the spread of the coronavirus to more of the population. Masks became commonplace, many office-based employees began working from home.

Children began online schooling, and many parents became home-schoolers as well. Retail employees in grocery and discount stores became “essential workers” while everyone else stayed home.

People everywhere have adapted to the new lifestyle, with many making permanent changes. Unfortunately, one less positive outcome of the pandemic isolation has been the increase of domestic violence resulting from the nationwide lockdowns.

Lockdown With An Abusive Partner

Changes in Domestic Violence Since the Pandemic Isolation in Raleigh, NC

Another name for domestic violence is “intimate partner violence,” or IPV. The CDC reports:

  • About one in four women and one in ten men have experienced domestic violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime and reported at least one impact of the violence, i.e., concern for personal safety
  • Over 43 million women and 38 million men have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime

The pandemic lockdowns have exacerbated domestic violence. Individuals who were planning to leave their abusive domestic partner may have seen their plans thwarted when the shelter-in-place plans were implemented, trapping them with their abuser. Teachers, social workers, childcare professionals, and others who would otherwise have more frequent contact with victims are not in touch to be able to help.

Social distancing requirements meant that abused partners no longer had options in friends or relatives ready to help. The risk of COVID-19, and subsequent quarantine, took away resources such as shelters that might have been available before. Closures of courts also mean that protection orders were more difficult or even impossible to acquire.

Violence can take the forms of:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Psychological
  • Sexual

Many of these types of relationships also involve financial entanglement, and victims may not be able to access their own paycheck in order to leave.

Medical Implications

One of the most prevalent indicators of increased domestic violence during the pandemic has been the uptick in Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). Even outside of the pandemic, TBI in women is about one in four. That rate has increased along with the rise in domestic violence cases.

Medical facilities are frequently safe spaces for victims to be able to report abuse and seek help. Unfortunately, the pandemic has also taken away that option. Surgeries and other appointments were canceled in the wake of the pandemic. Non-emergency medical visits have taken the form of telemedicine, either a phone call or video call with patients to determine a diagnosis. This means that abusers may be able to listen in to conversations, rendering the patient unable to disclose any indication of abuse.

American Family Physician recently published guidelines for healthcare providers for helping identify and assist victims of domestic violence.

North Carolina’s Response

In March of 2020, police departments in the US saw as much as a 27% increase in domestic violence calls, although the number of calls in Raleigh stayed about the same as the previous year. However, shelters such as Interact have seen a weekly increase in calls as much as 30% to 50%.

North Carolina Health News also reported an uptick in domestic violence cases statewide.

The COVID-19 Remote Hearing Resource For Domestic Violence Matters, published in January of 2021 by the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts sets out guidelines for courts to handle these particularly difficult cases. Additional information is available on the North Carolina Judicial Branch website.

Despite the lockdown, Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order does allow domestic violence victims the opportunity to leave home and seek safety and shelter. Victims may not realize that they can leave, no matter what their abuser tells them. Help is also available through:

The North Carolina Domestic Violence Intervention Program also offers treatment for abusers to help end the cycle of abuse and learn new methods of interaction with family members and intimate partners.

Criminal Defense Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley In Raleigh

If you’ve been accused of a crime or arrested for one, it’s important to find a strong defense attorney quickly to begin building an effective defense. Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh, NC who understands the criminal justice system, and how to defend you against many types of criminal charges.

Call Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us at dewey@deweypbrinkleylaw.com, or use our online contact form.

Domestic Violence In Raleigh, NC

It’s become commonplace to read news about violence in a relationship between two people, or in a home situation. Commonly called “domestic violence,” it can occur with individuals in personal relationships, including:

  • Domestic Violence In Raleigh, NCPersons currently or previously married
  • Unmarried individuals who are dating or were dating at one point
  • Unmarried individuals who currently live together, or previously lived together
  • Parents of the same child
  • Parent and child
  • Other relatives, including grandparents and child who act as a parent to a minor child

Domestic violence occurs in all types of homes without regard to race, sex, national origin, or socioeconomic status. In 2020, current statistics show that 43.9% of women and 19.3% of men experience some form of domestic violence in North Carolina. This moves the Tar Heel State into the ten states with the highest rate of domestic violence.

Types Of Domestic Violence

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) defines it as:

“. . .the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional/psychological abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence vary dramatically.”

The NCADV reports that every year, 10 million people are abused by an intimate partner. Family members such as children, siblings, parents, and grandparents can also potential targets of abuse through:

  • Physical violence, including restraining, striking, pushing, or other actions to cause harm
  • Verbal and emotional abuse, using statements to control and demean the other person, making them feel useless and empty
  • Psychological abuse, statements or actions made with the intent to strike fear in the victim
  • Stalking and “checking up,” unwanted and repeated surveillance against another person, including:
    • Showing up at home, work, or elsewhere without notice or an invitation
    • Following you going to work, errands, or elsewhere
    • Calling after being asked to stop
    • Calling work, school, friends, or relatives to ask about you
    • Sending unwanted letters, texts, emails, or voicemails
    • Waiting at places you frequent
    • Following and watching you on social media
    • Causing damage to your home, car, or other possessions
    • Leaving evidence that they’ve visited and are following you around
  • Financial abuse, in which the victim has no control over their finances, or is not allowed to work or even have money.

Victims can request Domestic Violence Protection Orders that offer them legal protection. Ex parte temporary orders are immediate, and protect the victim until trial, about ten days. Final domestic protection orders can last up to a full year. They are issued after a court hearing where the defendant can speak for him or herself in defense. These orders can be extended as needed.

Penalties

North Carolina does not have specific charges for domestic violence. Instead, a person arrested for will be charged for the specific crime, such as assault. Anything related to domestic violence incurs additional penalties. If the court discovers that the individual charged with a crime has a personal relationship with the victim, the records will show that the crime was domestic violence.

The court can include additional terms to probation, including:

  • Treatment, including medical and/or psychiatric as an inpatient
  • Successfully complete drug treatment and rehabilitation
  • Refrain from alcohol consumption and be subjected to monitoring
  • Require the defendant to remain at home except for school, work, etc.

Resources For Victims

There are remedies available for those in a difficult situation. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) 24/7.

Domestic Shelters has a listing of shelters in the state where emergency help and housing is available.

The North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence has a list of service providers on its website (scroll down past the section on COVID Relief Funds.)

The North Carolina Department of Administration also has a list of programs for those in need of assistance.

If You’re Accused And/Or Charged

While domestic violence is a serious matter for victims, it’s also wielded as a weapon in divorces and child custody cases. Vindictive spouses and partners claim domestic violence with the idea that it will “help” their cases and goals. The intent may be to get full custody of children, a higher amount of financial support or settlement, or a larger share of marital property (such as the family home.) False accusations of domestic violence frequently backfire, but not until it’s done significant damage to the other party.

Accusing another person of anything is easy, including domestic violence. Even an accusation without any evidence can land someone in the back of a police car. It’s the call most police officers fear the most because it also puts them in danger while trying to diffuse tension. Once they arrive, they must make an arrest.

As a defendant, it’s important to adhere to and comply with any restraining orders that are issued against you. If you don’t, additional criminal charges can be filed, be arrested, and spend time in jail.

If you are accused of domestic violence, the only way to defend yourself is in court with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Failing to appear allows the court to issue a permanent order. Your attorney will work to protect your rights and help you avoid additional legal issues stemming from the original charges.

Domestic Violence Is A Serious Charge

If you’ve been charged with any form of domestic violence, you must have a strong defense when going to trial. Without it, you could be facing jail time.

Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh, NC who can defend you against charges of domestic violence. Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your criminal defense case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us at dewey@deweypbrinkleylaw.com, or use our online contact form.