In today’s world, more and more people are finding themselves stuck at home with abusers, with nowhere to go. In uncertain times, it can feel impossible to escape domestic violence situations.
Domestic violence in 2020
The Marshall Project reports that though crime and domestic violence reports have been down during 2020, that does not necessarily mean that abuse has decreased. During normal times, only half of domestic violence victims report to the police. However, since uncertainty has wracked the country, police have seen more domestic violence service calls, confirming that it is indeed on the rise.
Legal options for survivors
Domestic violence situations, especially in times that can be isolating, are terrifying and may feel hopeless. There are options, though. The first would be to call the police. They will come to your home to investigate and interfere if necessary. They may make an arrest of the abuser.
You can also file an order of protection, including a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). This order bars an abuser from coming with in 100 yards of you. They typically last within 15 and 20 days. You can typically get a TRO by getting forms from your local courthouse or municipal court and then appealing to a judge in a hearing.
However, if government buildings are not available in your area, you can also contact the police and they will help you file. An attorney will help you understand exactly which type of protective order is best for you.
Helpline support options
There are many helplines for those available for those in or coming out of domestic violence situations. Connecting with the counselors at these organizations can help you feel less alone and help you understand your options.
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline – Chat or call 1-800-799-7233
- Crisis Text Line – Talk with a live Crisis Counselor by texting HOME to 741741
- The National Sexual Assault Hotline – Chat or call 800-656-4673
- The StrongHearts Native Helpline – Support for violence survivors in Native communities available from 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. at 1-844-762-8483
- The Trans LifeLine – Peer support for trans individuals by calling 1-877-565-8860 between 9 a.m. and 3 a.m.
- The Deaf Hotline – Support for deaf, blind or disabled survivors through chat, email or video call at 1-855-812-1001