NFL Player Ray Rice’s domestic abuse charges have been covered in detail in the media. His delivery of an incapacitating punch to his then fiancée caught on video horrified the nation. Other stories of domestic abuse within NFL circles and other sports have surfaced in the wake of Rice’s troubles, pointing to a larger problem.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, NCADV, defines domestic violence as the “willful intimidation, physical assault, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another.” It is in epidemic proportions, affecting individuals across all socio-economic backgrounds. Domestic abuse results in injury, psychological trauma and sometimes death.
The victims are largely women. In fact 85 percent of domestic violence victims are females who are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence between the ages of 20 – 24. One in four women experience domestic violence in her lifetime; an estimated 1.3 million women are physically assaulted each year.
Children also suffer at the hands of a domestic abuser. It is estimated that 30 to 60 percent of children are also targeted for violence by an abusive partner. Unfortunately, boys witnessing domestic violence in the household carry a greater risk of becoming abusers when they become adults, thus perpetuating violent behavior from one generation to the next.
Victims of domestic violence often do not seek help. Ending a relationship is never easy to begin with. Victims of domestic abuse are often isolated from family and friends, psychologically beaten down, financially controlled and physically or emotionally threatened. They can be trapped in a cycle of hoping that things will improve to desperately wanting to get away, leading to feelings of embarrassment for enduring poor treatment for so long.
When contemplating leaving the abusive relationship, victims often worry about the impact on their children. They may be concerned that they will not be able to provide financially for their children. Victims are frightened and feel a loss of control at the prospect of leaving their home, particularly when faced with occupying a temporary shelter. They worry that they will not be able to protect their children from an abusive spouse who may gain visitation rights after a break-up.
Fortunately, there are a myriad of support options available to victims of domestic violence ranging from domestic violence hotlines to shelters. They may be able to offer help regarding housing, educational and employment opportunities and counseling for you and your family. They can direct you to the legal help you will need to secure in order to protect your family and build a more positive future. If you have been the victim of domestic violence, the Law Office of Ronald Bell can help, too. We are a compassionate and professional family law firm, helping clients forge new beginnings for over 30 years. Please contact our office today .
Source: NCADV.com, “Domestic Violence Not Only an NFL Issue” accessed 09 September, 2014