Covid-19 family violence is escalating. Life as we know it has come to a halt, unfortunately, domestic violence has not. In any crisis, domestic violence can escalate, and the Covid-19 family violence pandemic is the perfect storm. Total isolation, increased financial strain, stress, fear and control play right into the hands of the perpetrators of domestic violence. You are not alone. Our Vancouver domestic violence protection lawyers are here to ensure your family stay safe during this time where we know domestic violence victims are the most vulnerable.
WHAT CONSTITUTES FAMILY VIOLENCE?
The definition of family violence includes psychological, sexual and emotional abuse. It also can include things such as financial control, damaging property, and exposing children to domestic disputes.
Section 1 of the Family Law Act defines Family Violence as:
Family violence is defined in s. 1 of the Act as including:
(a)physical abuse of a family member, including forced confinement or deprivation of the necessities of life, but not including the use of reasonable force to protect oneself or others from harm,
(b)sexual abuse of a family member,
(c)attempts to physically or sexually abuse a family member,
(d)psychological or emotional abuse of a family member, including
(i)intimidation, harassment, coercion or threats, including threats respecting other persons, pets or property,
(ii)unreasonable restrictions on, or prevention of, a family member’s financial or personal autonomy,
(iii)stalking or following of the family member, and
(iv)intentional damage to property, and
(e)in the case of a child, direct or indirect exposure to family violence;
Call our Vancouver family violence protection lawyers if you feel concerned for your safety or your family’s safety on (604) 620 – 8682.
COVID-19 FAMILY VIOLENCE PROTECTION ORDERS
If you have experienced family violence or if you feel you or any member of your household is at risk of being subjected to family violence during quarantine, you may want to consider obtaining a protection order against your abuser. A protection order can restrain the actions of your abuser such that they are no longer able to contact you, attend at your workplace, telephone you, email you, or send messages through relatives or friends. If your abuser does not follow the conditions as set out in the protection order, they may be subject to arrest. When obtaining a protection order, the court will take into consideration any history of family violence and whether that violence is repetitive or escalating. The court will also consider whether there are any circumstances that may increase a person’s vulnerability, including pregnancy, age, family circumstances, health or economic dependence. The court will also consider the victims perception of his or her safety risk, the current status of the relationship and the circumstances that may increase the risk of family violence (i.e. Quarantine).
An application for orders to protect vulnerable family members from family violence can be made even during quarantine. Our team of Vancouver family law lawyers are essential service providers working remote. We are ready and able to swear affidavits and gather supporting materials and bring urgent court application in support of family violence protection orders using video technology (FaceTime, Zoom, Skype). Contact us now for a quick response at [email protected].
RESOURCES FOR VICTIMS OF FAMILY VIOLENCE
Children and teens can call the Kids Help Phone to speak to a counselor day or night at 1-800-668-6868. The Battered Woman’s Society is also providing emotional support to woman to woman experienced uncertainty, vulnerability and harassment during these difficult times. Victims Link BC is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, if you or someone you know is victim of a crime. Seniors Abuse & Information Line is available for abused or mistreated elders, 7 days a week from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.