Domestic violence is more common than most of us may think. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 24 people are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking every minute in this country.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is important to understand this pervasive and serious problem so you can seek help if you need it. Crisis intervention, counseling and the actions of law enforcement and the courts can keep victims safe. In some cases, the advice of a lawyer can be instrumental, too.
Domestic violence defined
According to Transitions Family Violence Services, domestic violence can take many physical and non-physical forms, including:
- Physical abuse involving hitting, pushing or other forms of violence against a spouse, an intimate partner or a family member.
- Sexual violence, which can include marital rape, sexual coercion or attempts at nonconsensual sex.
- Psychological abuse and intimidation used to create fear, undermine trust or damage important relationships.
- Verbal abuse, which can include threats, insults and accusations against a partner or spouse.
- Stalking, spying, making unwanted visits, or sending unwanted messages via text or social media.
When legal representation is important
In many cases involving domestic violence, immediate safety is the most important concern. To this end, an experienced family law attorney can explain your legal rights and advise you regarding restraining orders or protective orders that may be useful for keeping you (and your children) safe.
With regard to long-term solutions, an attorney can help you develop a realistic strategy that may include divorce, custody, financial matters and other essential issues. If you are experiencing domestic violence, get help right away.