COVID-19 pandemic leads to rise in domestic violence

Domestic Violence Awareness

In the United States, more than 10 million adults experience domestic violence annually.  An incident of abuse happens more frequently than every 3 seconds.

1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

The COVID-19 pandemic and its ripple effect are changing the way we live. But one thing did not change – domestic violence.

From April to June 2020 experts now point to a startling 75% increase in the number of calls from victims quarantined for months with people who hurt them when compared to the same time period last year. 60% of those callers had never sought help from the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) before.

In fact, research from the CCADV suggests unemployed or work-at-home victims found themselves with an abuser for countless hours. Financial struggles during the relationship can also be a trigger for abuse.

The coalition says working at home and homeschooling can cut off some support systems, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, the CCADV’s services never stopped. The CCADV and its member organizations have continued to help victims and survivors not only by answering phone calls, responding to texts and e-mails but also with basic items such as rent/mortgage, food, and emotional well-being.

The pandemic did result in several courts closing which, for a time, led to a dramatic decrease in the filing of family violence restraining orders. The Governor did sign an Executive Order in early April allowing for online filing in which 700 applications were filed in April and May. Overall filings increased drastically when courts reopened in June but are still way below 2019 filings. The CCADV is now asking the legislature to make online filing of restraining orders permanent.

One notable case that received lots of attention was the August 30 homicide of Rosali Acquefreda in Ansonia. The father of her child, Andre LeFrancois, has been charged with her murder.

Help is available through the CCADV and its 18 organizations as well as CTSafeConnect.org or call or text (888) 774-2900. Advocates are available 24/7.

Here are some upcoming events where you can support victims and survivors of domestic violence:

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