Vermont law enforcement have raised the alarm on their fear that self isolation measures due to to Covid-19 outbreak will result in an increase in cases of domestic violence across the State. “Isolation is how domestic and sexual violence really proliferates, especially when it happens behind closed doors and at a time when community resources and the systems and responses that survivors count on are overwhelmed,” Sarah Robinson, deputy director of the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence told vtdigger.org. “We absolutely expect that more people will experience domestic and sexual violence during this crisis.”
Although Vermont courts are continuing to hear serious cases of domestic violence there appears to be a significant concern regarding the perpetration of ongoing abuse in cases that are deemed less serious, such as violations of relief from abuse orders. This has State’s Attorney’s concerned that these matters are not being addressed in a way that will deter further violations or additional acts of abuse.
Vermont Domestic Violence cases had seen an increase in reports prior to the coronavirus outbreak. Given the stress families are enduring during this time of uncertainty, it is being projected that the incident rate will continue to rise even further if law enforcement is not able to take proactive measures to get in front of potential acts of abuse before they occur. Defusing these stressful situations may be the best way to ensure that Vermonters are protected both from being a victim of domestic violence or being wrongfully charged of the crime when law enforcement take matters too far.
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