These difficult times might have revealed many issues and vulnerabilities within marriages, leaving some couples wondering whether divorce might be a good option for them. However, there are other couples who might be dealing with even more problematic situations involving accusations of domestic violence. Since Governor Pritzker issued the original Stay-at-Home Order in Illinois, reports of domestic violence across the state have spiked. Here is an analysis of some of the most common ways that these challenging times have led to such increases in domestic abuse reports:
5 Reasons Domestic Violence Cases May Increase
In some parts of the country, there have been fewer reported cases of domestic violence and abuse during this public health crisis. However, in many regions throughout Illinois, reports of such cases have actually increased. This may be due to an increased potential for conflicts within most homes, including:
Difficulties Related to Being Forced to Stay at Home Together—This public health crisis has forced couples and families to spend much more time alone together than they are accustomed to. In addition to increasing minor irritations, forced proximity can exacerbate existing relationship problems, and arguments or conflicts may become heated, leading to accusations of domestic violence.
Financial Stress—Many people have lost their jobs over the last few months. Not being able to pay the bills can cause a great deal of stress within a household, and this can lead to an increased level of conflict that may cause family members to feel unsafe.
Increased Drug and Alcohol Use and Abuse—People who are required to stay at home have more time on their hands to participate in behavior that may be seen as unhealthy, and the loss of a job or other stresses can lead some to engage in substance abuse. Increased use of alcohol or drugs may lead other family members to fear for their safety while at home.
Higher Rates of Domestic Violence During Disasters—Even though this particular crisis is unprecedented, at least in modern times, history has shown that other similar disasters frequently lead to spikes in domestic violence cases.
Increased Anxiety—Most everyone is anxious about what has been going on in our world these days. Worries about a family’s health and safety, how to find a new job or pay bills, how to keep children safe while meeting their educational and emotional needs, and countless other concerns can boil over into significant emotional issues or mental health concerns. In some cases, these can affect family members and lead to accusations of violence or abuse.
Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer
If you are afraid for the safety of yourself or other family members, you should speak to an attorney about receiving an order of protection. Our lawyers can help you understand your legal options and provide you with representation if you choose to pursue a divorce. We can also help you determine how to respond if your spouse has obtained an order of protection against you. For legal help with concerns related to domestic violence or divorce, call a Wheaton family law attorney at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation.