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Police, hotlines report increased domestic violence in 2020

| Jan 22, 2021 | Domestic Violence |

With people in Ft. Myers and throughout Florida staying home a lot more last year, experts predicted that domestic violence incidents would surge nationwide in 2020. It is still too early to know the full picture, but it appears that they were right.

According to USA TODAY, police departments across the U.S. reported significant jumps in domestic violence-related calls and arrests in the early weeks of lockdown. For example, the Portland Police Department says its officers made 22 percent more arrests on domestic assault complaints in the weeks after Oregon first went into lockdown last spring, compared with the same time period in 2019. In San Antonio, there were 18 percent more calls related to family violence in March than in the same month the prior year.

Possible explanations

We do not know for sure why this happened, or if the trend continued throughout the year. But if it did, it is likely that the states’ stay-at-home orders were a factor, as were school and many jobs shifting to home. Having to spend more time with an abusive spouse or parent would lead to more incidents of violence. In addition, the recession caused millions of layoffs. Stress over money problems could have contributed to the domestic violence problem.

Facing domestic violence charges?

Though every report of domestic assault should be taken seriously, not every accusation is true. Often, when the police arrive, both spouses claim the other was abusive, and the officers must guess who started the fight. A false claim that you committed domestic abuse can cost you your job, your home and your reputation — not to mention your freedom. If you have been arrested on domestic violence charges, your first move should be to contact a defense attorney as soon as possible.