How COVID-19 Could Lead to the Release of Domestic Abusers
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In addition to people falling ill and dying, the COVID-19 is leading to the release of domestic abusers and The Doctors meet a woman who has been told her abusive ex is up for possible release from prison due to the pandemic.
Melissa alleges she endured 16 hours of abuse and torture in front of her 3-year-old daughter from her ex including, choking, burning, and rape. She tells us she thought she would not survive and says her abuser said he would kill her.
She says serving her ex with divorce papers set the horrific abuse into motion. She was able to flee the home and her ex was arrested. He is charged with numerous crimes including multiple felonies for alleged rape and kidnapping.
"It is terrifying," she says of the thought of her abuser getting released from jail due to COVID. She says, "That fear is so real and so deep, I can't do anything until I know he's not going to get out."
Melissa’s attorney Verne E. Paradie Jr. says his client's abuser could be released and is up for bail. To stop the release, the attorney has reached out to their district attorney and has requested the bail be increased.
To potentially ensure her and her daughter's safety, Melissa has a safety plan in place (Get more information on safety plans, here), but she fears her plan is not foolproof. "I don't think any plan, except keeping him in prison, is going to keep me 100 percent safe," she notes.
The Doctors share their deepest concern for the continued safety of Melissa and her daughter and hope the judicial system takes the necessary steps to protect her.
If you or someone you know needs help, domestic abuse resources are available from the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or 1-800-799-7233 for TTY, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.