Hurricane Michael left parts of Florida devastated in its wake, with homes swept away, power lines knocked out and whole neighborhoods gone when it struck in mid-October.

We’ve seen the images in still photos and on television. What we haven’t seen is the effect that the storm has had on families in terms of domestic violence.

An investigator with the Bay County Domestic Violence Unit told the News Herald that while the basics are starting to return to her area, the instances of domestic violence have risen, perhaps because many homes remain without power.

A supervisor in the same unit told the newspaper that domestic violence often rises after a disaster, often because multiple people bunk together since homes have been lost.

“It’s the stress,” she said. “I also think that people think law enforcement is busy with other matters, so they may be more emboldened.”

She suggested, in fact, that family members who are forced into small quarters leave when the going gets tough. As tension rises, it can be beneficial for one party to just get away and blow off steam. Another way to put distance between two parties before any trouble ensues is to volunteer to ease anxiety.

“Try to do something productive,” the supervisor said. “Help others in need instead of feeling sorry for yourself and taking it out on your spouse.”

If you’re accused of domestic violence, it can have a dramatic impact on your future – even if you aren’t guilty. A Florida attorney can assist you in fighting domestic violence charges.