Domestic Violence (Spousal Abuse) 4

What You Need to Know to Stay Safe

Domestic violence is a widespread problem anywhere you live. Fortunately, you can protect yourself by learning to recognize abuse and knowing how to stop it.

The term “domestic violence” actually covers a variety of abuse, ranging from verbal and psychological to threats and of course, physical contact. In the past, domestic abuse was viewed as a private affair that should be handled within the home. This allowed “free reign” to abusive partners, facing little to no consequences for their actions. Today, our society takes domestic violence much more seriously and there are laws and programs in place to help victims of abuse.

Unfortunately, domestic violence can still take its toll and the victim can often grow to expect and even accept the partner’s abusive behavior. One example of this is Battered Women’s Syndrome, a psychological disorder falling under the general category of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This disorder is typically the result of long-term, continued abuse. The abuse may start slowly and be nothing more than derogatory comments, insults and other abusive verbal remarks. As the abuse progresses, physical contact begins to manifest and the abuser manages to convince his victim that she “deserves” this punishment for something she did or didn’t do.

If this cycle is allowed to escalate, it can often end in death. Many victims have ultimately been beaten to death and just as many victims have suffered a psychological break and killed their abuser. Either way, the outlook can be grim. Symptoms of Battered Women’s Syndrome include a lack of enthusiasm or interest, fear, substance abuse and a distinct change in personality. Women suffering from Battered Women’s Syndrome should seek professional and legal assistance immediately.

Also remember that domestic violence can sometimes extend beyond your home, invading your workplace, the grocery store and even your child’s school. Many estranged partners resort to stalking, threatening phone calls and other forms of intimidation in an effort to scare the victim into coming back home.

There is however, legislation in place to help get you out of an abusive situation and protect you after you’ve left. The Violence Against Women Act is a federal bill designed to provide assistance to women in abusive situations. This bill created a national domestic violence hotline and provides grant programs to states to assist in the protection of abuse victims. But perhaps the most useful and immediate tool at your disposal is a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). If you’re a victim of abuse, you can get a TRO against your abuser, basically requiring him to stay away and leave you alone. If your abuser violates this order, he can usually be arrested on the spot.

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Discussion

  • Molly

    It doesn’t stop, no matter how many restraining orders you obtain. I have gotten two in the past, and he has violated both of them, and been bailed out. He owns four restaurants and has a lot of money. . .I left for the third time about four months ago, and this is by far the hardest it has ever been. . .and we have standing court orders, that he keeps violating. . .it is a seemingly lose lose situation. . .I have my girls in a DV class, for children through Bridges, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, and hopefully it will help the three of us. Any suggestions would be wonderful.

  • A restraining order does not work if you do not enforce it. Many victims of domestic violence come back to their abusers and allow them to continue the abuse. Once you have a restraining order you should enforce it. That’s why you got it in the first place. The police can arrest someone for violating a restraining order and you can enforce it through contempt proceedings. I highly recommend victims attending empowerment classes. For people who have a restraining order against them, they should remember that they violate the order at their own peril. Many people naively are “lured” into violating a restraining order because the protected party “invites” them to do it. The restraining order is not a light switch and cannot be turned on and off at either party’s convenience. It is the court’s order and the restrained party should know a restraining order is a restraining order until it expires, is dismissed, or is modified by the court. To violate the order is to risk being held in contempt of court.

  • little g

    my father who has ben gone threw a nasty divorce to his wife has went threw alot of physical and mental abuse i started reading this web page because i thought atfirst it was none biest but as i read more this is all against men again and what i cant beleve is that i have seen with my own eyes the lies that are told my dad delt with a woman for ten years and her abusse i seen her hit punch kick scratch evan bite him he sat and took it then the one time that he said thats it i cant take this no more and tried to leave as he went for the door and he told me to go out the back and get in his truck i watched her hit him in the face she ripped his shirt and clawed him on his back he shoved her away from him and thats were he said he did wrong he did wrong protecting himself and thank god he left now here is the kicker he he left she called him well over 17 times told him i could hear her screaming telling him if she cant have him no one will then another time she said that she is calling the cops and gone to say that he beat her he if he dont come home he said im done do what u want 10 hrs latter my dad and i are at his freinds and he is being aressted evan thow i seen what went on it didnt matter now he sat his time because he says no matter what he did wrong because he pushed her not punshed pushed i sene it he sat in jail he filed for a devorce she herasted him for months he went and tried to file a restraning order because she was calling his work and his phone and thretend him she is gone to kill him and when he went to this safe haven place to file thay basicaly kicked him to the cerb he had phone records to show the herasment and it didnt matter anyway the devorce was filled and he told her he was taking out a restraning order she went and got one and it was instant no nothing said my point is that made him look bad in the divorce and he fought just to see my brother and sister was made to look like a fool why because of false acusations i think it alot of these damestic abuse cases should be investagated alot more than what thay are and as far as stutistics are therapists are finding out and law is finding more and more that men are being abussed more and more there for there not the abuser they are the abused but like my dad men alot of them dont say nothing till its to late i think people have to look at both sides and not just say o theres a damestic case and say its always the male more there should be ok who did what and talk to there children and fined out the truth and these restraning orders should be investagated more also not used for a vise for divorce wich happens alot thay should be used for the right thing and thats to protect whoever is being abussed man or woman

  • tdcw

    i think that they generalized the article cause more often than not it is woman looking for a way out that come online to gather info about dv… i agree with you that its not just women who get abused… my dad has a dv from his ex wife and it never even happened… all because its a womans state…