Protecting Domestic Violence Victims

Domestic violence and abuse is no joke. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV):

  • On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
  • One in four women and one in nine men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, use of victim services, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, etc.
  • One in four women and one in seven men have been victims of severe physical violence, such as beating, burning, or strangling, by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • One in seven women and one in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.
  • On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
  • 19% of domestic violence involves a weapon.
  • The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.
  • Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
  • Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.
  • Domestic victimization is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behavior.
  • Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries.

If you are involved in a domestic violence and abuse situation in Florida, contact the Sarasota domestic battery lawyers at the Fowler Law Group for help.

Types of Domestic Abuse

Domestic violence and abuse can come in many forms, just a few of which include:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse, including rape.
  • Psychological or emotional abuse
  • Financial or material abuse
  • Discriminatory abuse

Effects of Domestic Violence and Abuse

According to the Joyful Heart Foundation, the effects of domestic violence and abuse are far-ranging, and may include:

Physical Effects

  • Bruises
  • Black eyes
  • Red or purple marks on the neck
  • Sprained or broken wrists
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle tension
  • Involuntary shaking
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Menstrual cycle or fertility issues in women

Mental Effects

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts
  • Depression, including prolonged sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem and a questioning sense of self
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts. If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255.
  • Alcohol and drug abuse

Emotional and Spiritual Effects

  • Hopelessness
  • Feeling unworthy
  • Feelings of apprehensive and discouragement about the future
  • Inability to trust
  • Questioning and doubting spiritual faith
  • Lack of motivation

Effects on Children Who Witness Domestic Violence and Abuse

Whether children witness or experience violence and abuse, it can take a toll on their development. Domestic violence victims are not solely romantic partners. Children are at an increased risk for emotional behavioral problems whether they were directly abused or not. The effects may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Academic problems
  • Fearfulness

National and State Programs for Victims of Domestic Violence and Abuse

Full Faith and Credit

Nationally, Congress enacted the full faith and credit provisions of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) (18 U.S.C. § 2265-66) in 1994 (as amended in October 2000). The federal law directs jurisdictions to give full faith and credit to valid orders of protection issued by other jurisdictions.

For victims, this means abused persons who are granted court orders of protection can call upon law enforcement in any jurisdiction to protect them and to take all appropriate action against abusers; in other words, a protective order issued in South Carolina must be enforced in Tennessee.

In Florida, the statutes regarding domestic violence can be found in Section 741.29 of the Florida Statutes. Remember: your abuser may monitor your internet use and may be able to view your computer or phone activity. If you have reason to believe that your computer or phone is not secure, you may wish to use a computer in another location, or the phone of a friend, to which your abuser does not have access. 

Call the Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-500-1119.

The Legal Clearinghouse Project

In Florida, the Legal Clearinghouse Project began in 1997 as a pilot program, the first such program in the country, to provide legal advice to victims and to provide legal representation to victims at final hearings for civil Injunctions for Protection Against Domestic Violence (i.e., protective orders). 

DVP subcontracts with legal services and legal aid providers, known as Clearinghouse Attorneys, who accept client referrals from Florida’s certified domestic violence centers and other domestic violence agencies throughout Florida. The project came to include providing representation to victims of domestic dating, sexual violence, and stalking in civil injunction proceedings, as well as in housing, public benefits, and credit repair matters. DVP also provides training and technical assistance to its Clearinghouse Attorneys.

The in-state hotline number is 1-800-500-1119, ext. 3. Out-of-Florida callers can call 1-850-385-0611. Florida Relay 711.

There are literally dozens of other programs designed to help victims of domestic violence and/or abuse. The Sarasota domestic battery lawyers at The Fowler Law Group can help you sort through your options. They will handle your matter with discretion, kindness, compassion, and efficiency. 

What Do I Do if I’m Being Domestically Abused?

If you are the victim of domestic violence and/or abuse, don’t lie to yourself. The abuse will not go away on its own, because the abuser is literally addicted to the power and dominion he or she has over you. It’s like a drug for them. 

You have to make the difficult decision to reach out for help, especially if kids are involved. Children are unable to protect themselves and count on you to take care of them.

First, get yourself to a place where you can safely communicate, such as a library computer or a friend’s phone. Do not leave a trail on your own phone or computer that your abuser can find. Next, call one of the hotlines or the Sarasota domestic battery lawyers at The Fowler Law Group. Let them help guide you through the process. Don’t allow a lack of funds to prevent you from seeking help. There are programs designed to assist you.

Contact the Sarasota Domestic Battery Lawyers at the Fowler Law Group for More Information

Domestic violence and abuse is a dangerous situation that can have life-long negative effects on you and your children. If you or someone you know is the victim of such violence or abuse, let the Sarasota domestic battery lawyers at The Fowler Law Group help. Please contact us online.

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