December 9, 2023
The coronavirus has shaken the world up in many ways aside from the virus itself. Millions of people are finding themselves out of work and businesses are being forced to close doors en masse. Lots of people are also practicing social distancing by staying home.
Because of these things, one issue that cities like Denver are contending with? The potential for a massive spike in domestic violence.
Experts Concerned for Potential Spike in CO Domestic Violence Calls
The extensive quarantine has led to couples and families being forced to spend more hours together than may be comfortable. This is concerning for experts and social workers alike who are worried about the possible side effects.
For past offenders of domestic violence, this can be an especially trying time. Many reformed offenders who still may struggle with anger management and other issues are being tested in a way many aren’t prepared for.
To help prevent issues that could lead to domestic violence, it’s important previous offenders understand their personal triggers that may have historically resulted in violent episodes.
The Most Common Triggers for Domestic Violence Offenders
For reformed offenders of domestic violence, one of the keys to preventing relapse is understanding the triggers. There are numerous and deeply personal reasons people commit acts of domestic violence against family members.
There are, however, some commonalities among the majority of domestic violence case data. Three of the most common are drug and alcohol abuse, untreated mental illness, and accusations of infidelity.
Let’s take a closer look at each…
Drug and Alcohol Abuse
One of the leading reasons behind domestic violence relapses is a past (or present) substance abuse issue. Substances such as alcohol, cocaine, and methamphetamines impair user judgment. This can lead to rash behavior and poor decision making — like violent reactions and outbursts against others.
During self-quarantine, leaving alcohol and other substances outside the home may be your best course of action.
Untreated Mental Illness
This is a major issue, especially during the coronavirus quarantine period. Many cases of domestic violence are carried out by people who have an underlying mental health disorder such as Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia.
With the medical industry currently overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases, those who regularly need medical services may not have normal access.
Accusations of Infidelity
Accusations of infidelity have been found to be a primary cause of domestic violence between spouses. One reason? An accusation like that can feel threatening.
What do we do when we feel threatened? Those with a history of violence are prone to repeat past behaviors. Understanding your own response tendencies may mean leaving questions of fidelity to a time when you can more easily walk away from the situation if you need to.
While we all hunker down to wait out this viral storm together, there are some resources to keep in mind for when you’re feeling like the situation is becoming too much to handle.
Colorado Support Groups Move to Digital Meetings
For reformed offenders of domestic violence, whether the violence was committed towards a spouse or children, now more than ever will be a stressful period of time. Know this: even in quarantine, there are resources that can help if you are feeling too close to the edge.
It is important to stay in touch with support groups and other people who can help you to get through these trying times. Support groups exist for a variety of demographics including religious-based support groups, anger management groups for men and women, substance abuse groups for men and women, and many others.
During the COVID-19 quarantine period, in-person group meetings are on hold. However, there are still ways to access support groups! Throughout the Denver area, support groups are being moved online.
Check out Psychology Today’s robust list by clicking HERE of digital support groups in and around the Denver area to find the right meeting to get you back to feeling good.
In the meantime, understand that even under the understandable pressure, you must follow the law or wind up facing the consequences.
Domestic Violence Enhances Other Criminal Charges in Colorado
Aside from the hurt and stress that domestic violence places on families, it’s important for people at risk of committing these crimes to remember the potential legal implications.
In the state of Colorado, domestic violence can range from a misdemeanor charge to a felony depending on the exact charge. This is because there is no specific statute for domestic violence.
Common Domestic Violence Crimes
Instead, when you are charged with a crime, the component of domestic violence acts as an enhancement to your charges. Some of the most common crimes involving domestic violence enhancement are:
- Child Abuse
- Sexual Conduct
- False Imprisonment
- Elder Abuse
Potential Consequences for Colorado Domestic Violence
The potential penalties for any of these crimes with a domestic violence enhancement can lead to lengthy prison sentences, years of probation, and massive fines.
You also have to contend with having a domestic violence charge on your record and having to explain the charge to potential employers.
Know yourself, watch your triggers, and do what you can to find help when lock-down starts to feel like too much. There are too many resources available and there is too much at stake for you to risk a domestic violence charge.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.