Domestic violence refers to violence between spouses or intimate partners. During a divorce, domestic violence can play a role in several aspects such as: determining child custody or legal guardianship. Typically, domestic violence is generally both physical and psychological in nature. In the majority of states, domestic violence is defined as conduct which threatens to cause or actually causes injury between:
- Family members
- Residents of the same household
Although the issue of domestic violence is a serious problem which is prevalent around the world violating the fundamental human rights of women and often resulting results in serious or fatal injury. The statistics vary widely on the prevalence of domestic violence however, it should be kept in mind that women are not the only victims of domestic violence, in certain cases men suffer as well albeit women significantly outweigh men as victims in this regard. According to US Department of Justice reports, the majority of the victims from 1994–2010 were women. Although women may also use violence against intimate partners, their use of violence is distinct from men’s use of violence in more ways than one.
According to statistics, the issue of domestic violence is prevalent worldwide. According to a report issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2013 entitled, “Global and Regional Estimates of Violence Against Women: Prevalence and Health Effects of Intimate Partner Violence and Non-Partner Sexual Violence,” it was estimated that 30% of women worldwide are victims of abuse perpetrated by their spouses or intimate partners. The report further stated that over 38% of women murdered worldwide are victims of their significant other and 42% of women that were sexually or physically abused were subjected to such treatment by their intimate partner.
Some people tend to correlate domestic violence issues with certain ethnic or racial communities or pass it off as practiced only by certain classes within their communities. At public meetings and such, domestic violence is discussed in terms of race, ethnicity, education or age. However this is a myth as actual research proves that domestic violence is prevalent in all socio-economic, religious or ethnic groups. Accurate research and statistics regarding domestic violence are crucial for the expediency of any effort towards advocacy in this matter as they can help document the need for certain measures and steps to raise the extent of public awareness towards this problem.
It is also recommended that authorities encourage research on the causes, nature, severity and consequences associated with violence against women and periodically review the effectiveness of preventative measures implemented to address this issue. Over the last decade, a large amount of data has been gathered through household surveys, national health surveys, and demographic surveys.
Consequences of Domestic Violence During a Divorce
The lives of people involved in a single incident of domestic violence are dramatically impacted. A victim of domestic violence may often require the assistance of legal counsel in order to deal with issues that stem from the incidence of domestic violence. A primary consequence of such an incident is a change in child custody or parenting time agreements. Someone accused of committing domestic violence may lose any custody rights or be prohibited from seeing their child altogether.
Victims of domestic abuse may find themselves relocated to another state or a shelter home for their own protection. This typically occurs if the domestic violence involves harassment, stalking or if the perpetrator has violated a protective order in the past. Victims may be required to undergo counseling or therapy sessions in order to deal with the trauma inflicted on them by an abusive intimate partner.
Issues of domestic violence are serious and not to be trifled with. If you have been accused of domestic violence it is imperative to seek the counsel of an experienced and dedicated criminal defense attorney to safeguard your rights and freedom.