COVID-19 and the Rise of Domestic Assault Cases
There is a serious side-effect of the COVID-19 pandemic that is hitting Texas families hard: domestic violence. Over eight months into this pandemic and the stress from staying at home, financial instability, and job and school-related pressures are starting to boil over. Many major news organizations around the state report that advocates and law enforcement officials are continuing to see spikes in the number of domestic violence cases all across the state.
Mental health is at an all-time low as parents and families struggle with depression during these uncertain times. Adults may also be increasingly turning to substance abuse as a coping mechanism for their unhealthy thoughts and behaviors because they feel like they have no other outlet for their frustrations. Mental health issues and substance abuse problems can quickly escalate into verbal threats and physical violence.
Within the high-stress environment created by the pandemic, law enforcement is likely feeling the pressure to act quickly. Oftentimes, however, the situation may be more nuanced and complicated than it first appears. Ultimately, families may not be getting the help they need to cope during the pandemic, as these types of cases continue to rise.
DOJ Addresses Domestic Violence in Texas
It isn’t just major cities like Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio that are seeing a rise in domestic violence cases. Authorities in Beaumont also say they are experiencing a rise in domestic violence cases. The story seems to be the same, no matter where you turn. The scope of the problem is so broad that recently the Texas U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that $18 million dollars from the Department of Justice are going to be used to address the increasing problem of domestic violence in the state.
Texas already accounts for 10 percent of the nation’s domestic violence homicides, according to the DOJ. The rise in cases due to the pandemic will only contribute to these numbers increasing. That is why the $18 million in new funds will be used to help bolster several Texas programs, including support for law enforcement agencies, support for domestic violence organizations to provide legal services, money for advocacy groups to help underserved populations, and money for domestic violence shelters to provide transitional housing to victims.
Contact a Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Today
Texas takes cases of domestic abuse seriously. The pandemic has put a strain on everyone, but when an individual lashes out with threats and violence, the courts won’t hesitate to act. If you or someone you care about has been accused of any form of domestic violence, the time to consult an experienced attorney is now. These accusations can tarnish your reputation and put your career and financial stability in jeopardy.
The domestic violence defense team at Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian can provide you with an honest and fair assessment of your situation and outline all your legal options. To schedule your confidential legal consultation, call our office at (972) 369-0577. Let’s talk about your options and what we can do to help.