Legal Guide

What is Domestic Violence and How Can You Protect Yourself?

Domestic violence is many things. It doesn’t have to be committed only by a husband or a live-in boyfriend. There’s also a pattern of violent behavior that runs through generations when children witness violence in the home. Both for the safety of the person being assaulted and any children in the home, it’s imperative that victims look seriously at their situation, realize that it’s not going to change, and consider what action they can take legally and through police channels to rectify the situation (or escape it).

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Domestic Violence Behind a Closed Bedroom Door

When the man of the home is violent towards his partner but does it in the bedroom or bathroom with the door closed and locked, there’s the belief (or hope) that it’s contained, unheard, and out of sight of young children. The reality is that children as smarter than they’re often given credit for.

Even when the woman uses cosmetics to try to cover up the cuts and bruises, the odd touch of the arm on a bruise that causes the mother to pull back her arm in pain is a dead giveaway. Children know what is going on because they hear it and they feel the tension in the air, even if they don’t understand the reason it’s happening. It also makes the worry that they might be next.

Violence is a Cycle That Repeats

A man who is abusive at home isn’t usually going to stop until he’s either made to stop or the relationship ends. The triggers to his violence will keep reoccurring in most cases. If drinking leads to him being an angry drunk, criticizing the woman and using his fists to vent that anger, then unless he starts going to AA meetings and agrees to live separately until his behavior is back under control, nothing will change. The cycle will repeat until it ends, or it cannot continue.

Children of Abusive Homes Often Become Abusive as Adults

The harm that growing up in a home with domestic abuse causes is significant to the child’s psyche. It’s been found through criminal case history that boys who see domestic abuse, rather than being repulsed by it end being aggressive young men who are likely to be violent themselves or often commit criminal acts too. Simply put, the role model that the violent dynamic creates in the home forever strips them of their child-like innocence and fails to provide the kind of stability necessary to grow into a strong-willed, well-meaning adult who behaves normally and is a productive member of society. Therefore, the sins of the parents are revisited on the child when nothing is done to change the domestic violence situation.

Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence

If you’re thinking that there’s nothing that can be done, you’d be wrong. There is legal aid for domestic violence charges that make it more affordable to file charges and pursue a case. The process is necessary as a starting point to resolving the issue and changing a life. Remember, it’s not just changing the victim’s life but their children too, who are also affected, even if they’re not currently showing it out of fear of reprisals.

Taking action to stop domestic violence by using legal means is an excellent first step. When dealing with a man who is overpowering and physically stronger, seeking legal protection is a good route to take to establish the facts of the case because it’s then a matter of record.

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