By: Mark Diaz
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Galveston Criminal Defense Attorney Discusses Domestic Violence Increase And COVID
An Update On Criminal Law And Domestic Violence Increases During The COVID Pandemic
I wanted to talk about some new things that have started coming up. I think I’ve talked about it before, but during the initial COVID shutdown, we saw an increase in domestic violence cases. It’s pretty clear that it was because people were forced to spend too much time together.
Not to say that just because people spend time together, there will be an increase in domestic violence cases, but I think it was all the added stress associated with the virus and the inability to connect with other people. All this stress combined with everyone being stuck at home for almost a year made it difficult for people to get along sometimes.
We did see an increase in domestic violence cases, and we knew it was from spending too much time together, that was just a logical conclusion that was drawn from seeing the numbers.
Those of you here in Galveston county know that recently, our COVID numbers have reached new heights, which led to the suspension of jury trials again. So far, it appears that those are going to start up again, possibly by January 31st.
However, we will have to wait for Phillip Kaiser to advise us on the numbers, whether we’ve peaked yet, and the numbers are on the downslope, or whether the number of cases is still rising in the next couple of weeks, that remains to be seen. I’m curious to see if this big rise in numbers, which is causing people to quarantine again, will also lead to a new rise in domestic violence cases.
It may be different this time because while people are forced to quarantine, society is still open. We may find that people choose to violate the quarantine rules and go out anyway. Rather than sit at home and fight with their family. I guess we will have to see how that turns out.
This leads to a new issue, which the legal community, and the criminal defense community, are monitoring very closely. That is whether or not this Texas abortion ban stands. If it ultimately stands, it is going to lead to more domestic violence situations. Will an abusive man not allow his spouse to get an abortion within the six weeks allotted (if she can even figure out she’s pregnant that fast)? If she wants to get an abortion, would he physically harm her to keep her from doing so?
On the flip side, will abusive women try and use their pregnancy against their spouse, or use it to trap them in the household? It’s just so unclear whether or not the abortion ban will ultimately survive, but if it Does are we going to see an increase in domestic violence cases as a result? It is an interesting point to consider.
We saw during the initial shutdown, a rise in domestic violence cases, just like we see a rise in domestic violence cases during the holidays when families are gathered together, not working. So I came across this article about a woman who was in the trap of, wanting to get an abortion to get away from her abuser and she was worried about how the abortion ban might affect her. That got me thinking, could this ban lead to a slew of different abusive scenarios? It could.
As I’ve said before, we’ve defended many females who have assaulted males. It’s not necessarily always husband and wife. We’ve represented a woman who tried to hit her boyfriend with a car. These things happen. When you start imposing rules on people like imposing a lockdown, forcing people to stay home, imposing abortion bans, and forcing people to do things, there are consequences that may come along that we didn’t think about when we were doing the legislation. If you have been accused of or charged with domestic violence in Southeast Texas or any other serious crime call Mark Diaz & Associates at (409) 515-6170.