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Domestic Violence - Who Suffers, the Victim or the Accused?

The answer is…. BOTH

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS

If you are the victim of domestic violence, you have probably suffered both mental and physical abuse. Domestic violence victims often do not want to involve the police and they often feel guilty for “making their partner upset”. This is wrong……..

*In the United States, an average of 20 people are physically abused by intimate partners every minute. This equates to more than 10 million abuse victims annually.

* 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been physically abused by an intimate partner.

(iBlack, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., Chen, J. & Stevens, M. (2011). The national intimate partner and sexual violence survey: 2010 summary report. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_report2010-a.pdf)

WHY DO PEOPLE STAY IN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS?

One of the most common questions people ask about victims of domestic violence is, “Why don’t they just leave?” People stay in abusive relationships for a variety of reasons including:

• The victim fears the abuser’s violent behavior will escalate if (s)he tries to leave.

• The abuser has threatened to kill the victim, the victim’s family, friends, pets, children and/or himself/herself.

• The victim loves his/her abuser and believes (s)he will change.

• The victim believes abuse is a normal part of a relationship.

• The victim is financially dependent on the abuser.

• The abuser has threatened to take the victim’s children away if (s)he leaves.

• The victim wants her/his children to have two parents. • The victim’s religious and/or cultural beliefs preclude him/her from leaving.

• The victim has low self-esteem and believes (s)he is to blame for the abuse. • The victim is embarrassed to let others know (s)he has been abused.

• The victim has nowhere to go if (s)he leaves.

• The victim fears retribution from the abuser’s friends and/or family

THOSE WRONGLY ACCUSED OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Equally as harmful as a victim of domestic violence not taking action, is when a disgruntled spouse or significant other makes a false allegation of domestic violence. Once the DV train is set in motion, it is hard to stop.

  • An innocent person may be arrested, removed from his/her home, separated from their family and forced to legally defend themselves in criminal court, civil court, and family law court.
  • Upon the issuance of a domestic violence injunction, all firearms must be surrendered.
  • Upon a second charge of even a simple domestic battery, a person may be charged with a felony crime.
  • Many employers will not hire persons with a domestic battery criminal charge or civil injunction.
  • A civil domestic battery injunction can be issued permanently, with no end date.
  • Society stigmatizes those accused of domestic violence in a very negative light.
  • A domestic battery injunction can separate a good parent from his/her children.

BOTTOM LINE

Whether you a victim of domestic violence or have been wrongly accused of domestic violence, the stakes are high and you should seek legal help. A qualified attorney can help you navigate through this dangerous and tricky legal situation and obtain justice.

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