The coronavirus pandemic has elevated the risk of domestic violence, bringing the issue to the forefront as it relates not only to couples, but children. As more people are working from home or have lost their jobs it has added stress to already strained marriages. Quarantining people together who are already explosive can have a devastating result for more than one person in the home.
Governor Roy Cooper is making a push to get kids back into classrooms for face-to-face learning, but it may be too late for many of them. Children living in households infected with domestic violence have been exposed to the abuse on a full-time basis for nearly a year with little to no reprieve.
North Carolina has a domestic violence problem
While both men and women can be victims of domestic violence, in North Carolina women account for a little more than 57 percent of victims where men are the offenders in nearly 78 percent of deadly violent encounters.
Perhaps the reason we see more wives as plaintiffs in domestic violence divorce cases is due to the fact that boys who grow up in violent homes usually externalize their emotions as aggression and acting out. Girls who grew up witnessing the same level of violence tend to internalize their feelings more by becoming socially withdrawn and depressed. The difference in the reactions between boys and girls essentially creates built-in aggressors and victims as they get older.
How kids being out of school may perpetuate the abuse cycle
As many as 15 million children in the country witnessed physical violence at home pre-pandemic, USA Today reports. That number doesn’t include verbal or emotional abuse, which has certainly risen with the level of financial stress that has tipped some parents over the edge. Parents have been expected to become teachers and full-time supervisors while trying to hold their homes together, which has also made children the targets of domestic abuse.
Factors that are helping to create the perfect storm for divorce later in life include that these children:
- Are not able to access resources like guidance counselors or teachers to confide in for help.
- Have nowhere to escape for most of their day like they did during school hours and after-school activities.
- Are isolated from friends or teachers who have no way to pick up on signs of a problem at home that would be easier to observe in person such. Behavioral cues, physical reactions to certain situations, falling asleep from exhaustion, and bruises or other injuries are simply not detectable through a remote learning environment.
Per USA TODAY, simply witnessing abuse in the home can change a child’s brain chemistry. Kids who grow up in violence may be more likely to divorce as adults due to the pattern of abuse repeating itself. There are often several difficulties leading into adulthood that can factor into this occurrence, such as:
- Mental illness
- Substance abuse
Because the psychological effects of witnessing or being the victim of domestic violence will be tough to overcome, Covid-19 has very possibly brought about a whole new generation of abusers and victims. It only stands to reason that many of these individuals may face contentious divorces years down the road from now.
Leaving an abusive marriage can be dangerous and stressful. If you have children, the earlier you can escape the better chance you give them for a healthier outcome in the long-term. When you decide the time is right, the client-focused Charlotte domestic violence attorneys at Epperson Law Group, PLLC will be there. We can help craft the safest strategy to pursue your divorce so that you can move out of the dark and into a brighter future. To schedule your private consultation with one of our caring family law attorneys in our Charlotte, Boone, Concord, or Weddington offices, call 704-321-0031, or reach out to us through our contact page.
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