The COVID-19 pandemic has caused people throughout the entire world to make changes and adaptations to their everyday lives. One of the changes that occurred forced many people to socially isolate themselves by quarantining in their own homes. Many people lost their jobs and those who did not were required to perform their jobs from home. The impact that COVID-19 caused on the social and livelihood stresses between families and loved ones created an increase in situations that led to domestic violence. The loss of jobs placed many families into financial hardship which created more stress and things to worry about between partners. The result of this increased stress and self-isolation has been linked to an increased amount of domestic violence accusations because it created an environment that forced victims and accused abusers into situations where they were not easily able to separate themselves from each other.
What is Domestic Violence?
California Penal Code section 13700 defines “domestic violence” as abuse committed against an adult or minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or person with whom the suspect has had a child or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship. A cohabitant means two unrelated adults living together for a substantial period of time, resulting in a long-lasting relationship. Factors that may determine whether persons are cohabitating include, but are not limited to sexual relations between the parties while sharing the same living quarters; sharing of income or expenses; joint use or ownership of the property; whether the parties hold themselves out as spouses; the continuity of the relationship; and the length of the relationship.
How can I Spot A Potentially Dangerous Situation?
Domestic violence has always been a huge problem that many families and couples experience. It is important to realize that COVID-19 has caused a drastic increase in the amount of people accused of this crime. It is critical for you to be able to spot potentially dangerous situations before they occur to help prevent yourself from being accused of domestic violence. Here are three red flags that you can look for to help prevent yourself or a loved one from experiencing a domestic violence situation:
- Excessive Control: Your significant other starts to become controlling. They may attempt to prevent where you go or what you do and may even attempt to discourage you from seeing friends or family members. Overall, they may try to prevent you from making your own decisions. It is also important to understand that not all situations where your partner attempts to keep you from seeing friends or family are done in a manner to control your freedom. The pandemic resulted in strict laws that were designed to promote social distancing. Your partner may be attempting to keep you safe by preventing you from exposing yourself to those who have contracted COVID-19.
- Unjust Aggression: They may start to become physical, not just directly towards you, but towards your personal belongings. They may destroy your property or threaten to hurt or kill your pets. They may start with more slight physical contact like shoving or slapping and then become more physically aggressive by choking or punching you. There are some cases where the abuser will start to hurt themselves to change the narrative to look like they are the victim in case authorities get involved.
- Gaslighting: They may not always resort to physical violence, but may instead preemptively attempt to diminish your ability to assess the situation. An example of this can be a partner threatening to commit suicide unless you act a certain way or repeatedly making you file like you’re the cause of any problem that may occur, no matter how insignificant/significant it may seem. They may even try to claim they are the victim and make it seem like you are the one gaslighting them.
Domestic violence does not look the same in every relationship. However, in almost all abusive relationships the aggressor will seek to establish/maintain power by whatever means necessary, recognizing the increasingly lopsided power dynamic is crucial to staying safe. If you have experienced any of these signs it is important not to brush it off as “nothing.” The pandemic has increased the probability of these red flags occurring and do not let an excuse of “it’s just because the pandemic” be a reason this issue continues.
Can Wallin & Klarich Help Me If I Get Accused of Domestic Violence?
Yes. If you’re facing a domestic violence charge, you are at risk of serious consequences. Aside from the social/personal ramifications of being accused of domestic violence, like the loss of job opportunities and the stigma attached to this type of charge, there are serious penalties that the state can impose upon you if you are found guilty. For this reason, it is crucial to find representation that has experience defending those accused of domestic violence. Wallin & Klarich has over 40 years of experience, and have represented thousands of clients who have been unfortunate enough to be accused of this serious matter. Not only will we provide the best legal defense to your case, we will also keep you informed on proceedings every step of the way.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, and Los Angeles, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense lawyer available nearby who is ready to defend you or a loved one.
Please contact us at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (714) 587-4068 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.