As a result of the movement restrictions in place to combat the spread of coronavirus, instances of violence and domestic abuse are worryingly on the rise. It’s known that domestic violence becomes more frequent when families spend more time together, such as during vacations or seasonal holidays like Christmas. With families in lockdown worldwide, domestic abuse hotlines and support services are now being flooded with an abnormally high number of reports from victims.
Behaviours and pressures that already exist in relationships are exacerbated in disasters that disrupt everyday life, as financial difficulties and concerns around health elevate levels of stress. After the devastating events of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 for instance, studies showed that rates of emotional abuse increased by one-third and instances of physical abuse nearly doubled among women already experiencing domestic violence.
Couple similar stressful conditions with a social support system that is facing its own challenges amidst the current pandemic, and you have a recipe for unprecedented levels of domestic abuse across the country (and the world).
The lockdown may present a number of other problems for victims as well. For some, going to work during the day may have been their only reprieve from abuse they experience in the home. The same goes for children, who may only have been safe when they went to school. Victims may have alternatively had a reprieve when their partners went off to work. The economic fallout of the pandemic has likely affected many victims who have or were planning on leaving their household as well; for somebody stashing money away so that they can leave their abuser behind, they may now need this money for other expenses.
The World Health Organisation has reported that rates of domestic violence tripled in parts of China during its isolation period. Mark Speakman, the NSW Attorney-General, reported last week that Google searches on ‘domestic violence’ had risen 75% since the first cases of coronavirus were recorded in the state. It’s even being reported that some abusers are utilising the covid-19 crisis as a psychological weapon. Liz Thomas, CEO of Melbourne social support service ‘Wayss’, has stated that, “Perpetrators have actually used covid-19 as a form of abuse, telling their partner that they have the virus and therefore that they can’t leave the house.”
Domestic abuse is never acceptable, in any form. If you or even somebody you know is in a dangerous situation, now is the time to take action. Private investigators are in a position to assist victims of abuse in a number of ways. By gathering evidence of any form of criminal or improper conduct by a partner, whether towards you or your children or someone else, you will be able to prove who was at fault and you may have the option of having the perpetrator charged. You could also have the option of a civil case against the partner for any loss you have suffered. Domestic abuse comes in many forms and some are easier to prove than others. A skilled private investigator can advise you how you can go about obtaining proof once you have made the decision that the abuse cannot continue.
An investigator can provide advice as to how to maximise one’s security, whether you are living with your partner or estranged, as well as give advice on how to disappear safely if your partner has seriously threatened you. We can also provide various security checks to determine whether your partner is attempting to spy on you, be it through forensic analysis of a phone or computer for spyware, or performing a bug sweep for covert listening devices in your home. If there is immediate risk and you or someone you love is in danger, a security guard can be arranged.
A background check on an existing or potential partner may reveal whether there have been any instances of violent or unlawful behaviour in that person’s past. It’s even possible in some cases to identify former partners of the abuser and reach out to them discreetly to see if they have any troubling accounts of misconduct. In the event some less obvious form of abuse is occurring (like financial abuse), we can endeavour to determine whether the offending partner is hiding assets or earning an undeclared income. Perhaps the partner is cheating; in this case, please read on here for more detailed information on cheating partners investigations. It’s often possible to determine if a partner has an addiction, like gambling or alcohol as well.
In any case, there are multiple avenues for an investigator to assist victims of domestic abuse in these difficult times. Don’t hesitate – if you feel as though you might be a victim then the chances are you are a victim and you need help. The longer you delay, the greater the risk. Contact an investigator from a safe phone or email address and discuss your matter in confidence today.