Domestic violence has been an issue in the United States for many years. This was recently acknowledged by the United States Surgeon General who cited it as the biggest health concern in America. Domestic violence can take many forms, some obvious, some less obvious, some hidden to everyone but the victim, and some forms that may not even be aware to the victim.
Following last week's Women's March which spread across not only the United States, but across the world, it may be a good time to increase awareness of domestic violence. It is important for everyone to understand what constitutes domestic violence and how the various forms it may disguise itself. The United States Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women defines domestic violence as "a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain control over another intimate partner."
Even if you are in a healthy relationship, the same may not be true for family members or friends that you are close with. Knowing the signs and symptoms of domestic violence may help save a victim who is unable or unwilling to save himself or herself. It is important for someone involved in an unhealthy relationship which involves domestic violence to get help, which can be easier said than done, considering the loss of power a victim often experiences.
When domestic violence is brought to light during divorce proceedings, it may make a profound impact on the court's rulings, especially child custody. Therefore, it is vitally important to address any incident of domestic violence not only to protect the victim and children in the family, but the future of the victims as well.
Source: FindLaw, "What is Domestic Violence?" Accessed on Jan. 30, 2017