One-third of women and one-fifth of men will experience some form of domestic violence during their lifetime. Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior that can take many forms – physical, psychological, and sexual – that one intimate partner uses against another to gain control and dominate the relationship. The tactics used to maintain power include coercion, intimidation and emotional manipulation. Statistics show that domestic violence is a widespread problem. According to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, an average of 24 people become victims of rape, stalking, or physical violence inflicted by an intimate partner every minute in the United States. When a woman is killed in an act of violence, it is much more likely that her attacker was an intimate partner, spouse, or even a family member, than a stranger.
Taking Action Against Domestic Violence
The statistics on domestic violence indicate that it happens all too frequently, leaving many to wonder what can be done as a society to stop further abuse. There are many proactive steps that can be taken to address the issue on a daily basis. These include:
- Supporting local domestic abuse programs and shelters by volunteering, making financial donations, or other forms of aid.
- Discussing the subject with young people to educate them about healthy relationships and raise awareness about dating violence.
- Organizing educational workshops for your place of worship, community center, or school program. Education is the key to recognizing and changing abusive behavior. Contact your local domestic violence program for help.
If you see abusive behavior such as:
- Someone yelling at their partner or threatening them
- Insulting or intimidating their partner in public
- Cursing or throwing things, damaging property
- Demonstrating jealous, controlling behavior
Intervene by saying something, calling for help, creating a distraction, or asking someone else to help. Intervention by family and friends is the first step to recognizing the problem of domestic violence and ending it. Many victims suffer from low self-esteem, shame, and self-blame and cannot speak out for themselves. They fear retribution, losing their children or families, and often do not have the money or resources to leave on their own.
There is a misconception that drugs and alcohol abuse, mental illness, or anger issues cause domestic violence, but this is false. Abuse of another person is a deliberate behavior with the purpose of gaining power and control over the relationship. Intervention is a crucial step in making it clear that these values and behavior have no place in our society.
Towson Domestic Violence Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Counsel Victims of Domestic Violence
If you are in an abusive relationship contact the Towson domestic violence lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC for help determining your legal options. An initial consultation is free and confidential so do not delay in contacting us at 443-589-0150. You can also contact us online. Our offices are conveniently located in Hunt Valley and Towson serving clients throughout the greater Baltimore area, including those in Bel Air, Columbia, Westminster, Essex, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.