I met a friend for a playdate with our children recently. Her husband is a police officer in the town that we both live in. In between pushing our kids on the swings and making sure that they didn’t go down the slide headfirst, we were talking about the town, the work that each of us does and the work that her husband does because who wouldn’t want to know more about the crime and the different types of calls that he responds to in town?
I learned that the majority of the calls that he responds to are domestic violence. This may have surprised me at one time, but not after practicing family law. Domestic violence occurs in all different types of families regardless of where they live, how much money they make, or what roles they participate in our local community. Victims of domestic violence can be male or female.
I was thinking about this last night after reading an article that incidents of domestic violence and child abuse have increased as a result of the coronavirus. I’m sure we can all see why, we are all “stuck” at home with our partners, children and sometimes other family members. Some of us are stressed about working from home while also teaching our children and/or caring for younger children that are not yet in school. Others of us are stressed about losing our jobs and providing for our families. Our kids are confused and irritable and want to see their friends and teachers.
Everyone is stressed and emotions are running high, but none of this gives anyone an excuse to perpetrate domestic violence or child abuse. If you or your children are a victim of domestic violence or child abuse please reach out to one of the resources below.
The statewide domestic violence hotline is available at 1-800-572-SAFE (7233). This hotline can help direct survivors to the resources closest to them. To report child abuse you can call 1-877 NJ ABUSE (1-877-652-2873).
Melissa Knoerzer, Esq. is an attorney with Adinolfi, Lieberman, Burick, Falkenstein, Roberto & Molotsky, PA in Southern New Jersey. Melissa focuses her practice on all aspects of divorce and family law, particularly those faced with the unique issues related to special needs children.