The most current national studies regarding domestic violence conclude between 22-25% of all women will experience domestic violence during their lifetime. The domestic violence shelters in the state provided nearly half a million nights of emergency shelter to victims of domestic violence and their children during the same time period. As alarming as these numbers are, in fact there are many more victims of domestic violence who do not report their abuse to law enforcement. This may be due to shame, fear, or because they are prevented from doing so by their abuser.
Victims of Real Domestic Violence Need to Seek Help
If you are a victim of domestic violence, there are practical steps you can take to help ensure your safety such as:
- If you have been physically injured, seek medical treatment, and tell the doctor what happened, if you can. Keep notes or a diary of your injuries as well as the verbal abuse you experience.
- Call 911 and report the incident only if you are not afraid of further physical violence before the police arrive. If you are afraid your abuser will hurt or kill you if file charges, then first go to a safe place such as a domestic violence shelter, then notify the police and obtain a restraining order. Keep all documents such as police report/incident numbers in a safe place with other documentation pertaining to your domestic abuse.
- Do not blame yourself, and know you are not alone.
- Tell someone you trust about the abuse so you do not feel you have to face the situation alone.
- Have a safety plan in place in case you need to leave a dangerous situation quickly.
Being Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence?
If someone has unjustly accused you of domestic violence, however, it is important to understand the severity of these charges. Domestic violence charges are very serious and could de-rail your life. Oftentimes, jealous ex-spouses or ex-partners bring charges of domestic violence out of spite, anger, or resentment. They may even use these charges to gain an upper hand in a divorce or child custody proceeding.
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