Massive attention has been given to Breast Cancer and Autism this month, and it should be. Also this month is the cause of Domestic Violence. One of every two families in the United States is involved in domestic violence at some time reports the Domestic Violence official website of Los Angeles Police Department. Domestic violence is a repetitive pattern in people’s lives. Victims or witnesses of domestic violence in childhood are mostly likely to repeat such acts as adults.
In order to eradicate Domestic Violence we must understand what it is and the symptoms of victims being abused.
Domestic violence is defined as abuse committed against members of the same family, a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, a person with whom the offender has had a child, or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship regardless of sexual orientation or between children and elderly parents.
Domestic violence may begin with angry words, a shove, or a slap, and may escalate into a pattern of assaultive controlling behaviors including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks against the victim, children, property, and/or pets.
Criminal domestic violence behaviors include hitting, choking, kicking, assault with a weapon, shoving, scratching, biting, rape, unwanted sexual touching, forcing sex with a third party, or violation of a valid Restraining Order. Degrading comments, interrogating family members, suicide threats/attempts, controlling victim’s time and activities, although not criminal, are also considered domestic violence behaviors.
Some acts of domestic violence even include sexual assault. A sexual assault may be by a stranger or a person known to the victim, including a husband, boyfriend, ex-husband, or ex-boyfriend. Sexual assault is a crime. Victims should notify the police immediately. A police officer will respond to conduct an investigation and collect evidence. Victims should keep all clothing worn during the assault and other evidence such as bed sheets. Officers will transport victims to the hospital for a free medical exam. Victims should not shower or douche before the exam.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ reveals that this pattern of control and abuse increases in frequency and severity over time. It is estimated that one-fourth of all homicides in this country occurs within the family and one-half of these are husband-wife killings. Studies have shown that arrest, jail, probation, and Restraining Orders deter many abusers from physically abusing their partners.
Disturbing facts: Did you know…….
- A woman is beaten every 15 seconds.
- Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between ages 15 and 44 in the United States.
- Battered women are more likely to suffer miscarriages and to give birth to babies with low birth weights.
- Sixty-three percent of the young men between the ages of 11 and 20 who are serving time for homicide have killed their mother’s abuser.
Domestic Violence Hotline
National Domestic Violence Hotline
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