Most countries have taken unprecedented steps in order to restrict the movement of their citizens, and it means that most families are now spending their time at home. However, this also means that victims of a domestic misdemeanor have also found themselves ‘trapped’ at home with their partners, and some of them are unable, or too afraid, to call the police.
France, of the countries that have been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, took steps to prevent this. The country told victims to head to pharmacies and tell the pharmacist what’s going on, or if they can’t openly talk in the store, they can use the codeword “mask 19”. A woman in Nancy, France, was the first one to seek help since the initiative was launched, according to the French ministry for equality.
Charities and police forces across Europe have raised the alarm over a potential spike in a domestic misdemeanor. To add to that, emotionally stressful events (like this one) can lead to an increase in aggressive behavior at home.
According to the French Interior Minister, there had been a 36 percent increase in police intervention for cases of a domestic misdemeanor in Paris after the lockdown measures were enacted, and the government said that it will pay for 20,000 nights in hotel rooms for such victims.
The problem isn’t limited to Europe, though. The government in Australia said that Google has registered the most searches for domestic misdemeanor help in the past five years during the outbreak, and the government has introduced a $92 million packages to support such victims.