During this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, families are required to spend all or most of their time at home.  According to the New York Times, society has unfortunately already seen a vast increase in domestic violence with these social distancing measures. Abusers have always used tactics like isolation to wield power and control, and isolation is a necessary component of social distancing.  Abusers’ violent tendencies can be aggravated by stressors like economic hardship, physical illness, and anxiety, which many families are currently experiencing. Fortunately, domestic violence resources have not shut down during this crisis and Smith & Files attorneys can help those in danger achieve safety and protection.


If you are currently experiencing domestic violence, law enforcement and/or crisis hotlines can be the first step, depending on the circumstances.  You can then speak with an attorney about whether you may be entitled to a family violence protective order, also known as a restraining order.  While courthouses are not functioning at the typical level due to COVID-19, restraining orders have been deemed essential and are available to those who need them.


Smith & Files attorneys are all deeply committed to combatting domestic violence and have decades of experience in obtaining protective orders.  We help those experiencing violence get court-ordered protection from abusers, financial support, housing, custody of children, and even divorce.  You can trust our attorneys to help you navigate the law and logistics during this stressful time and achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.


Remember to document and keep in a safe place any evidence of physical violence or threats of physical violence.  Also, consider safety planning through a crisis hotline as domestic violence is a complicated societal issue that cannot be addressed with a one-size-fits-all approach. If you would like to talk to a Smith & Files attorney about your legal options, please call us at (404) 909-8300 to schedule a phone or video consultation.



Georgia Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 334-2836

Metro Atlanta Crisis Line: (404) 873-1766


Other Resources

Georgia: Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Metro Atlanta (Fulton, Gwinnett, and other counties): Partnership Against Domestic Violence

DeKalb County: Women’s Resource Center

Cobb County: liveSAFE Resources

Cherokee County: Cherokee Family Violence Center


If you have specific questions, please feel free to contact one of our attorneys.    

Dawn Smith dsmith@smithfileslaw.com (404) 909-8300

Kristen Files kfiles@smithfileslaw.com (404) 909-8300

Laura Sclafani lsclafani@smithfileslaw.com (404) 909-8300

Smith & Files is a law firm dedicated to assisting individuals and children obtain fair and favorable results in family law matters. Our lawyers bring decades of experience to the issues facing today’s changing families. In addition, the attorneys are seasoned Guardian ad Litems, mediators and state registered arbitrators. Learn more at smithfileslaw.com