COVID-19 has affected the United States greatly, and the State of New York has a stay at home order in place. Schools are physically closed and are operating electronically; thus, students are home. Also, many are working from home or are unemployed and are at home. While this might be a good thing to prevent the spread of the virus, it can also be a bad thing when you are a victim of domestic violence who is trapped behind closed doors with your abuser. Being behind closed doors with your abuser can be very toxic and life-threatening. The abuser will continue to exercise control over you. If there are any children involved, then they can threaten to take the children, or they can inflict physical harm if you try to leave, or they can control the financials, or they can do all of these things.

Maybe you are married, and you are thinking of getting a divorce, or maybe you just want to get out of the abusive relationship by separating from the abuser. But where to go and what to do? If you feel stuck and do not know what to do, then you should contact a family law attorney as soon as possible to discuss what your options are. While the courts are accepting certain types of filings at this time, two that are accepted in family court are family offense petitions and emergency orders to show cause. There are also online resources available during this time that you might want to consider, for example, NYC Hope, where you can get free, confidential assistance. The website can be found at https://www1.nyc.gov/nychope/site/page/home. On the website, there is also information about the NYC Domestic Violence Hotline, which can be reached at 1-800-621-4673 (HOPE). If you feel threatened for your safety or your child’s safety in away, or have been harmed in any way, then you should call the police.

Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx attorney. He has over 36 years of experience and has helped many individuals in family law and divorce matters. Call 718-329-9500 to set up a free consultation with Mr. Lutzky. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he is currently offering phone and video appointments. Regular business hours are from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, with the last appointment at 4pm, and Saturday from 10am to 2pm, with the last appointment at 1pm.