Domestic Violence And Child Abuse May Rise Due To Coronavirus Lockdowns

State and local governments have ordered people to stay home to combat the coronavirus pandemic. But those lockdown orders have a dark downside. Victims’ advocates fear that they could lead to an increase in domestic violence and child abuse. If you or a loved one have been victimized, a Greenville, SC family law attorney can help.

Advocates worry that the coronavirus pandemic is creating a perfect storm for abuse and violence:

  • Spouses, partners, and children are being ordered to stay indoors with their abusers
  • Closures mean there are fewer places for victims to go
  • Schools are suspended, so children lack a safe place to go
  • Financial stress caused by layoffs and other work interruptions

These and other factors mean a likely rise in abuse and violence against children, spouses, and partners.

Abuse often happens more frequently during high-stress environments like the current one. With so many places closed, spouses and partners lack the support networks that can help when they are abused. As for children, abuse is often first noticed by teachers and childcare workers. Because schools and daycares are largely closed, much of the abuse could go unreported.

Neighbors are being asked to keep an eye out for signs of abuse and violence in their communities. If you see something, consider notifying law enforcement. And if you or your child are victims, don’t be afraid to reach out for support. A Greenville, SC family law attorney can help.

Domestic violence doesn’t just happen between spouses. It also occurs between boyfriends, girlfriends, and other household members. It can include people who are or used to be married, or who are or used to be living together. Victims may also be parents who have a child together.

A Greenville, SC family law attorney can advise you as to your right to seek a protective order. These court orders can be filed against a person to prevent them from engaging in abuse. Protective orders may also be used to keep abusers out of the house of his or her victims.

Domestic violence may also factor into divorce and alimony issues. Physical cruelty is one of several grounds for divorce in South Carolina. The abusive spouse could be compelled to give up possession of the home, at least temporarily. Abuse can also be a basis for the court to award alimony to the victim spouse. South Carolina courts take numerous factors into consideration, including domestic violence, when rendering alimony decisions.

Children who suffer abuse need all the help they can get, especially in times like these. Aside from the criminal aspects, child abuse allegations often factor into decisions involving child custody. Indeed, evidence of child abuse could be used to restrict a parent from exercising his or her custodial rights. A parent who has abused a child may be subject to supervised visitation. Family courts can take appropriate measures to protect the child’s best interests. Ask an experienced Greenville, SC child custody attorney to learn more about this.


Coronavirus has changed Americans’ way of life, at least in the short term. But for many South Carolinians, these changes could be far more frightening than the economic uncertainty of a job loss. Domestic violence and child abuse remain very real problems, and are exacerbated during conditions like these. If you or a loved one are facing violence, reach out to law enforcement. Then, consult an experienced attorney to learn more about your legal options.

At Greenville Family Law, we are dedicated to advocating for the rights of domestic violence and child abuse victims. We’re here to serve you during these difficult times. Give us a call today.