In many places around Canada, it is now the third week of social distancing and self-quarantining. And it’s getting to people.

Luckily, most of us are not in solitary confinement. We are in our homes with many distractions, there’s natural light, and we may have a few people in the house with us. We even have the option of opening windows and going for a walk as long as we keep our distance. 

However, the COVID-19 lockdown is not an ideal situation for victims of domestic abuse.

The Effects of Social Isolation

Humans are social creatures, so we need to maintain our social support groups, particularly now. Loneliness leads to stress since the body reacts to social isolation as a threat and will release various stress hormones as protection. But if the response continues for too long, it increases a person’s risk of:

  • Cognitive deterioration
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Elevated blood pressure

Children are vulnerable to social isolation because they are more prone to developing health issues as they grow up. A 2012 study demonstrated that social deprivation affects the brain’s development. The prefrontal cortex develops a deficiency in the communication chains of oligodendrocytes. In other words, there is a breakdown between cell-to-cell interaction.

There are ways to rectify social isolation. Connect with friends and family every few days with a phone call. Go on Google Hangouts or Skype where you can see each other. This way, you can do activities together as if you’re in the same room, such as cooking, playing a board game, and reading.

cell phone

Domestic Abuse during a Pandemic

We are told to isolate ourselves at home to protect ourselves from COVID-19, but due to the close confines and additional stressors during this time it is likely that there will be an increase in arrests for domestic assault. In a time when many people are being laid off from work and there will certainly be long-term economic impacts, a criminal record can be a significant barrier to regaining employment. 

A criminal record, as well as dismissed charges, affect people’s lives. In 2018, The Society for Human Resource Management reported that 90% of employers do background checks on applicants. Businesses run a background check, even for volunteer work and if you’re self-employed. You can’t escape it. Moreover, you will most likely be denied promotions and possibly let go if management discovers that you have a criminal record while reviewing your application.. 

Call Sicotte & Sandhu 

We are still here to help during the COVID-19 lockdown. If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, you can still contact us by phone or through our online form. We want to assure our clients and potential clients that we are working to respond to your messages in a timely manner. Contact us today.