Quarantined with an abuser

By Audra Petrolle, Family Law Attorney at Rose Law Group

For some, the coronavirus pandemic is only going to exacerbate real ongoing struggles in your everyday life. Quarantining for victims of domestic violence can be a very scary thought. If you are the victim of domestic violence and are afraid of being quarantined with the perpetrator, the best thing you can do is get out now.

You have options: Go to a family member or friend’s house, if possible, or to a local women’s shelter.

Visit this website for a list of domestic violence shelters, safe houses, and other services in Arizona. 

Many of these shelters and related services can help you develop a specific plan to get away from the perpetrator. In addition, the courts are still in business at this point, and you can apply for an Order of Protection, which may even go so far as to give you exclusive use of the residence you share with the perpetrator or, at a minimum, can serve to protect the new address where you intend to reside, as well as where you work. 

The order can also cover any minor children who were also victimized by the perpetrator and/or who were in the zone of danger during those domestic violence episodes. But keep in mind that the court and sheriff’s office are now operating under limited resources. So, even if you get the protective order today, and it is transmitted to the sheriff’s office to serve service on the perpetrator, it could take at least week or two before service is completed. 

That said, keep a copy of your Order of Protection with you at all times and, if you come into contact with the perpetrator, call the police and show them the document. Police can assist you in keeping the perpetrator away or retrieving items from a shared residence without incident. 

Even if the state goes into a strict quarantine, there is still a strong likelihood you will have access to emergency services such as police assistance and paramedics. Take advantage of any services available to get away from the danger of the perpetrator.

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