Pennsylvania Governor Wolf’s mandate yesterday to close non-life sustaining businesses and recommendations from public health experts who have advocated for social distancing may have a greater impact upon some Pennsylvania residents than many may have considered in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fear, anxiety, feelings of a lack of control and other emotions during the corona virus crisis can and will result in an increase in the incidents of domestic violence. Victims who are living in fear may be less inclined to leave an abusive situation when there is a greater fear of financial instability due to the current predicament. Others may not have an opportunity to escape because of the new reality of working from home with their abuser and social distancing from friends and family. Potentially exacerbating the problems of domestic violence victims in Pennsylvania an order from the PA Supreme Court directing that all Pennsylvania courts must close as of the end of business on March 20th.
Domestic violence victims in Pennsylvania should be aware that help is available to them during the COVID-19 crisis. Law enforcement will respond to domestic violence calls and provide emergency aid. Domestic violence crisis centers will remain open and available to assist by telephone and by other means if necessary. Further, Pennsylvania Family Court judges will be available to assist victims of domestic violence with emergency Protection from Abuse petitions. But, with the Governor’s mandate to close all non-life sustaining businesses, many law offices have closed their doors and are not available to provide emergency legal services to victims of domestic violence.
The attorneys and staff at the Pittsburgh based family law offices of Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C. want to do our part to help during the COVID-19 crisis. Attorney Lisa Marie Vari along with her associates Tyler Foster, Melissa Lewis and Jessyca McCarl will offer free emergency legal services to victims of domestic violence in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland Counties in Pennsylvania for the period of March 20, 2020 until April 20, 2020. After reaching out to your local police department and domestic violence crisis center, please contact our office at (412) 281-9906 or Info@VariLaw.com for additional information and emergency legal assistance. Our attorneys and staff will be working remotely from our respective homes and will be available to assist domestic violence victims. Our staff will be working remotely Monday through Friday from 8:30 am until 5:00 p.m. If you have an emergency after hours or on the weekends, please call (412) 444-8608 and leave a confidential message and someone will return your call as soon as possible.
The law office of Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C. is here to do our part to help during this national coronavirus emergency.