Domestic abuse: October is a Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so it is time to get a closer look at this increasing form of violent behavior. By and large, the general public is unaware of the effects domestic abuse has on its victims, other family members and society as a whole. Therefore, attempts are being made to heighten society’s awareness of the many facets of this violent crime that plagues America today.
Organizations such as National Center for Victims of Crime, Love is Respect Website and National Domestic Violence Hotline are educating the general public as well as potential victims of domestic abuse, about the elements of the crime of Domestic abuse, how to differentiate between this family crime and other crimes, and even how to tell whether any crime has actually been committed at all.
Because people should be aware of the types of abuse crimes that fall into the category of domestic abuse, and who the victims of domestic abuse are, the center is answering questions, such as “Does one have to be a spouse or other immediate family member to be considered a victim of domestic abuse?”
WHAT IS DOMESTIC ABUSE?
This is a crime that involves abuse of family members, romantic partners, and others. The crimes of domestic abuse are numerous, ranging from verbal abuse to murder. They include emotional abuse, such as intimidation and threats, assault, battery (with or without the use of a deadly weapon), sexual abuse (i.e. spousal rape), kidnapping, and detaining one against his or her will.
When considering crimes of domestic abuse, most states consider certain relationships to be ‘domestic relationships.’ In these states, the relationships usually include spouses, former spouses, persons who share a common child together, persons currently residing together or those that have previously shared a domestic living arrangement together, in their criteria for domestic relationships.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TODAY
The problem of Domestic violence is on the rise and becoming ever more dangerous to its victims who live in fear. However, the average person in the United States today is unaware of just how serious and out of hand the crime of domestic violence is becoming. This could possibly be because many Americans do not live with conflict and violence in their homes.
Conversely, many victims of domestic violence do not even realize that they are victims of the crime of domestic violence. They’ve been misled by their abusers and believe that the abuse they are victimized by, really is not abuse at all, but just “a way of life.”