The COVID-19 pandemic has not only caused economic concern but has also put parents and guardians all over the world in an unprecedented position as they try to provide safety for their families. While current social distancing and lockdown guidelines enforced in Pennsylvania are meant to protect us from the spread of COVID-19, their restriction on mobility causes for the unfortunate likelihood that some families might be subject to an unsafe environment for themselves and/or their children. Consequently, COVID-19 has contributed to a worldwide increase of domestic abuse. While isolating, victims of domestic violence are at higher risk due to their inability to escape an unhealthy environment throughout the day and seek the resources they need to keep themselves and their families out of harm’s way. Regaining their safety first begins with acquiring the right information.
It is vital that victims of abuse know and understand their rights. Pennsylvania law makes it illegal for any individual to stalk, threaten, harass, or abuse another. While victims of domestic violence may hesitate or have been unable to visit hospitals, shelters, and lawyers due to the widespread of the coronavirus, it’s critical to evaluate the options available at home to ensure their and their family’s safety.
- Create a plan that makes it easily accessible to contact a trusted family member or friend who comprehends your abusive situation and can call 911 if need be.
- Make sure to determine the safest area within your living space in case an argument breaks out. Check to make sure it is distant from harmful objects that your abuser may have the ability to weaponize.
- Keep in mind what triggers may cause your abuser to become aggressive. Think about how you were able to diffuse these situations in the past and use these as models to create a safe, stable environment.
- If you feel that your life is being threatened, don’t be afraid to leave the unsafe premises to seek help and safety outside of your home.
A Protection From Abuse (PFA), which is a protective court order awarded by a judge and enforced by law enforcement, has the ability to aid victims in keeping their abuser distant. The order prohibits abusers from partaking in specific actions or behaviors within its contents. Additionally, the PFA can cause the abuser to be evicted from the shared residence for up to three years. If disobeyed, the abuser will be eligible to face criminal charges. It is recommended that you seek professional help from an experienced lawyer when requesting this order to assure there are no vulnerabilities that your abuser can take advantage of.
Although it might feel that resources are scarce due to the pandemic, there are many hotlines and consultants willing to digitally communicate and provide assistance. Sadek & Cooper advise victims of domestic abuse to contact a lawyer to determine the further steps that can be exercised to keep them safe. Attached are hotlines that will provide consultation and advice if you are in need of assistance:
Sadek & Cooper Consultation: 215-545-0008
Nation Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
The attorneys at Sadek and Cooper Law Offices have handled hundreds of family law cases in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties of Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks, and Chester. We are also licensed in the State of New Jersey. Sadek & Cooper will be working around the clock 24/7 to provide free consult those in need. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation at 215-545-0008.