The Exigency of Law Enforcement During Quarantine for Domestic Violence Disputes

By Alexandra Blockton
ablockton@lc.edu

During this time of quarantine due to the pandemic of the coronavirus, many families feel as if they are closed inside their homes and have short patience with being around one another 24/7. Without being able to have alone time, maybe causing drama, leading to fights with each other, as well as, abusers trying to invade victim’s homes by trying to re-enter into their lives unwanted.

According to an article by David Jackson titled, “A Coronavirus Case Curtails Some Operations at Domestic Violence Court, Even as Hotline Calls Increase”, which was published in the Chicago Tribune on the second, during this time many advocates for domestic violence in Cook County are being swapped with reports from multiple incidents, while the calls are being brought to their attention.

Attorney Kim Foxx announced she was “removing prosecutors from the domestic violence courthouse for 14 days after an employee tested positive for Coronavirus.”

At this time, many prosecutors have been able to put a stop to the ultimate violent cases from individuals looking to have their alleged abusers arrested. Currently, the office is trying its best to set up a way where all the cases involving Domestic Violence can be handled by phone, but no further information has been presented at this point.

Prosecutors believe the majority of the incidents are occurring because of all the stress that has been brought upon from the Coronavirus Outbreak.

Aileen Robinson, who is the coordinator of the Chicago Police Department’s domestic violence program, stated that“She and others were working with the state’s attorney’s office late into the evening on Wednesday to find a way to restore full services to the Cook County Domestic Violence Courthouse at 555 W. Harrison Street,” said Aileen Robinson, who is the coordinator of the Chicago Police Department’s domestic violence program.

But at the time of calls, many officers were able to help victims obtain safety information to be able to follow the guidelines, so they can stay safe from their abuser.

2,946 domestic calls were recorded the week of March 29, 2020, by the Chicago Police Department. With comparison back on March 29, 2019, with having only 2,629 calls. Chicago police departments are definitely in a state of shock with the number of Domestic Violence calls during this time.

One caller mentioned her partner was “laid off due to the pandemic. Violence had increased in the home, so she was living in her car and feeling ‘safer,’” said Amanda Pyron, who runs the Network, Advocating Against Domestic Violence, which operates as a statewide hotline.

Just in the month of March alone this year it has been noted of 1,972 hotline calls compared to last year calls at 1,895. March 30 was the busiest day ever with 104 calls in disputes.

“The outbacks by prosecutors were made without the knowledge and input of first responders who should be aware that you are closing screening for two weeks,” said Pyron.

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