One of the many consequences of the coronavirus pandemic has been an increase in the number of domestic violence cases at the national, state and local levels including on Long Island. Families have had to stay indoors together during a stressful and emotional time, leaving people vulnerable to abuse when tensions run high.
The Nassau County Police Department fielded 2,825 domestic violence reports from January 1 to March 23, up from 2,552 during the same period in 2019. County officials have said COVID-19 is partly responsible for a 10 percent increase in Nassau’s domestic violence cases since the beginning of the year.
Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder identified alcohol abuse as a factor in the spike. Other external factors believed to have contributed to the increase in domestic violence cases include layoffs and financial hardships amid the pandemic.
Suffolk County Police Department also saw a rise. Officers responded to 3,349 domestic violence reports between March 1 and April 16, compared to 3,237 incidents during the same period last year. Sgt. Kelly Lynch said officers were communicating with domestic violence survivors through emails and phone calls instead of doing in-person checks unless there was a 911 call.
The Safe Center in Nassau County provides domestic violence support resources including a 24-hour hotline and remote counseling services via videoconferencing or phone calls. The Long Island-based center is one of many such facilities adapting to the new circumstances of COVID-19. Long Island Against Domestic Violence also noticed a surge in residents seeking help since the coronavirus crisis hit Suffolk County.
Anyone who is experiencing domestic violence should make sure to seek help from available hotlines and resources. If you are facing domestic violence charges in the Long Island area, contact Brill Legal Group right away for assistance and legal representation.