There has been a surge in reports of domestic violence and abuse since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. Because of Stay-at-Home Orders, victims of abuse may feel trapped, with nowhere to go in the midst of a pandemic.
If you, another adult or a child in your household is the victim of domestic violence, we urge you to contact our office immediately. Victims have rights and options, and we are here to help.
St. Louis County Courts have posted a video about Domestic Violence. In it, judges review new and existing legal recourse for victims. These include:
- Request a Remote Hearing on Adult Abuse
- You do NOT need to appear in person at a courthouse. Courts are limiting in-person hearings and making online resources available instead.
- File Online for an Emergency Order of Protection for an adult or child
- An Order of Protection prohibits someone from abusing, molesting, stalking, threatening, communicating with, committing domestic violence or sexual assault against and/or otherwise disturbing the peace of the person who filed the order.
- A link to find the nearest police station.
- If you feel your life is in danger, call 9-1-1 and physically leave the premises if you are able.
(For the added safety for anyone who shares a computer with their abuser, the St. Louis County Court web pages include a quick “Escape” button at the top to exit the site, and instructions to hit Ctrl+Shift+Delete on the keyboard to erase the browsing history.)
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week:
- Call 1-800-799-7233 toll-free to speak to a highly trained and supportive advocate.
- Text LOVEIS to 22522 if it is not safe to speak.
- Visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline website for more information.
- Safe Connections provides a 24-hour local crisis helpline for adults and teens. Call 314-531-2003.
- ALIVE is a St. Louis-area resource for shelter, healing, and hope. Call 314-993-2777.
- Contact the Missouri Department of Social Services to report child abuse and neglect.
- The toll-free hotline is 1-800-392-3738. It is answered 7 days a week, 24 hours per day.
- If hearing and/or speech impaired, contact Relay Missouri at 1-800-735-2466 (voice) or send a text 1-800-735-2966.
COVID-19 is a health crisis, but so is domestic violence; according to the Department of Justice, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men are victims of physical or sexual abuse or stalking every year. While the potential risk of contracting the virus is understandably frightening, no one should be forced to endure abuse, whether violence erupted due to the stress of an at-home quarantine or loss of income, or if violence was already a problem in the relationship.
All of us here at Raza & Jones, LLC, understand this is a challenging time for our clients. As a family law firm, under St. Louis County’s Order pertaining to COVID-19 we are considered an essential business, and we will remain open and available to all our clients. The entire firm is working remotely, using our Zoom account to meet with clients or speaking by telephone. We are committed to delivering the same high standard of compassionate, effective representation we are known for, in the face of rapidly changing circumstances, and our attorneys will be there for you every step of the way. With a combined 30 years in family law, the attorneys at Raza & Jones, LLC, will provide the legal guidance you need. For questions, or to schedule a confidential consultation, call 314-449-8830.