Tonight’s urgent post about domestic violence was written by our Lawrenceville divorce attorney, Brandy Alexander.
Domestic Violence. We all have an opinion. Some people think that couples’ issues, including violence, should remain between the couple. Other people believe that the police and the justice system should get involved when violence or the threat of violence is afoot. I wholly and completely understand and empathize with the victim who does not want to involve the police, who believes she can handle it on her own, who fears public shame and humiliation for admitting publicly that she suffers at the hands of her abuser.
I think perhaps that it is undisputed that physical abuse is domestic violence but what about emotional abuse? What about mental abuse? Is constant calling someone stupid or worthless domestic violence? Is holding a person’s possessions hostage or regularly referring to them as a bitch domestic violence? Where is the line? How deep or bold is that line to help inform us when it has been crossed? I do not have all of the answers but I do know this, domestic violence is real. It is serious. It can lead to low self-esteem, depression and a host of other physical, mental and emotional problems and worse.
When children are involved the issues arising from domestic violence are significantly aggravated. We think that our children don’t see, don’t hear, don’t know. We think that we shield them from those things that we want never to touch them. We convince ourselves that we are successful. Children are little people, little sensitive people. They see more than we give them credit for; they hear more than we give them credit for and they know more than we give them credit for. If you are a victim of domestic violence and you have children, but you do not want to get out of the situation or you believe that you cannot get out, you can. You have to, not just for yourself, but for your children as well.
If you or someone you love is the victim of domestic violence please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). This call could be the most important call you ever made.
Not making that call could be right up there with the worst mistakes you ever made.