Domestic Violence

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Domestic violence is abusive behavior between intimate partners. This includes withholding of food, sleep, money for necessities, threatening loved ones to control the partner, abusing a person's pets, threatening to take children, other psychological abuse, and economic and sexual abuse as well as the physical violence that's more easily recognizable as violence.

Not all incidents of violence within a household make something a domestic violence case. Situational violence is not uncommon in divorce, with a physical altercation occurring around the separation period. Depending on the severity of that incident and other circumstances around it, a fight or one-way violence may not make the case one of domestic violence.

The sad truth is that while lip service is given to condemning domestic violence, batterers often win in court. Sometimes this is due to misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and sometimes it is the result of the preference in the courts for men. Battered women (and most victims are still women) are often seen as hysterical, unsympathetic, and blaming, while batterers are often charming and outgoing. These days, it is more important than ever to follow through on criminal court cases against batterers and to document everything.

We are very aware of the special care needed in domestic violence cases.

Domestic Violence Statistics

  • Domestic abuse results in nearly 2 million injuries and 1300 deaths each year.
  • Most of the violence is committed by men: 83% of spouse murder, 75% of dating murder, and 85% of abuse.
  • Battered women are not the only victims of abuse - it is estimated that anywhere between 3.3 million and 10 million children witness domestic violence annually. Research demonstrates that exposure to violence can have serious negative effects on children's development .
  • Access to firearms yields a more than five-fold increase in risk of intimate partner homicide when considering other factors of abuse, according to a recent study, suggesting that abusers who possess guns tend to inflict the most severe abuse on their partners .
  • $4.1 billion is spent annually on medical care for domestic abuse victims.

Divorce and Domestic violence

  • There is no question that leaving an abusive partner is the most dangerous time for the victim. If you want to leave an abuser, and are able to take the time to plan, you can begin right now.
  • Remember that websites you visit on your home computer can be tracked even if you erase your history, so do research over the phone or away from home.
  • Gather paperwork and make copies of what you will need, returning the originals if you think they might be missed, but take the originals of your own documents like birth certificates.
  • Call the Domestic Violence Action Center.
  • Do not believe the abuser who says you will never get anything/get the kids.