COVID-19 – Another week on…
So, by now most of us may be losing track of what day it is or how long we have been in isolation. Others will be enjoying time away from the office, some sunshine and their daily exercise. For those less optimistic, it means being at home and forcefully having to spend time with frustrated, paranoid and worried others. Of course, with the uncertainty in respect of the COVID-19 outbreak, the economy and people’s livelihood being put at risk, a lot of pent up frustration is inevitable, unfortunately for a growing number of people, it is a lot more serious than that and life at home is becoming far from pleasant due to the ever worsening and toxic environment stemming from an abusive partner or family member. It has been reported, by counselling charity, Relate, that cases involving domestic violence have increased, with 30% of cases in the week leading up 18 March 2020 referring to the coronavirus. This is an alarming statistic and has most likely been brought on by people spending more time (by force) in the company of their abusers.
Worryingly for the victims of domestic violence, there may appear to be no escape with the stringent social distancing measures in place. Whilst the government’s advice is to stay at home to limit the spread of COVID-19, for some, home is not a safe place and may feel like being in captivity. Victims of domestic violence may feel unable to talk freely about what they are experiencing or being subjected to and may also be unwilling to seek help due to there will always be someone within earshot.
For those seeking the court’s assistance, please be aware that the courts are still open (albeit in a limited capacity) and are able to conduct hearings via video conferencing, therefore urgent applications, for emergency injunctions under Family Law Act 1996 (such as non-molestation orders and occupation orders) can still be heard or listed for a hearing once a date/time becomes available.
It is recommended when considering making an application under Family Law Act 1996 that you take legal advice, so that you and your family can be supported by experts throughout this already difficult process.
These are some very challenging and difficult times ahead, but be assured, there is advice available. Contact me, in confidence, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0208 974 7490 to discuss your situation.