Police departments around the world are noting one unanticipated benefit from the global response to the Covid-19 / Coronavirus pandemic: crime rates in country after country have plummeted.
In fact, nearly the only category of calls that have surged are those for domestic violence. In this case, experts are not puzzled. By limiting movements, ordering many businesses closed, and urging people to stay at home unless a trip is absolutely necessary, Chicago saw drug arrests fall by 42% and overall crime drop 10%.
El Salvador, gripped by gang terror for years, has watched its murder rate shrivel from a high of 600 a day a few years ago to two per day over the last month. One mortician in Peru, where crime has fallen 84% since Coronavirus response policies went into effect, told reporters that he has almost no business. He normally sees up to 15 bodies a day. “There are almost no killings or car accidents these days,” he said.
On the other hand, numbers are beginning to come in about a troubling uptick in domestic violence. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters that aggravated assaults were up 10% in the last two weeks of March and first week of April, largely fueled by disputes between family members in the home.
Authorities in Missouri are concerned that calls to the state’s child abuse and neglect hotline have fallen off by half since the state went under stay-at-home. They fear that with kids at home instead of in school, no one is willing to make the call.
The tri-state area has been hit harder by the coronavirus pandemic than nearly any other area on Earth, and state agencies across the region are noting increases of 15-20% in reports of domestic violence.
After New York City’s Family Justice Centers, which work with victims and survivors of domestic violence, were ordered closed, domestic violence advocacy groups saw a sharp rise in website visits. New Jersey’s Coalition to End Domestic Violence (NJCEDV) released a statement that said, “Avoiding public spaces and working remotely can help to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but for many survivors, staying home may not be the safest option.
Abuse is about power and control. During times of crisis, and especially forced isolation, incidents of domestic violence often rise, and violence may escalate.” If you are home with an abuser, or if you have been arrested for domestic violence in New Jersey, it’s vital to you and your children that you get the help you need during this time of crisis.
Call Matt Reisig today at 732-385-3339 for a free consultation with an experienced New Jersey domestic violence lawyer.