Divorce is a common occurrence within the United States. Approximately once every 36 seconds, someone becomes divorced. This amounts to almost 2,400 divorces a day, 16,800 divorces a week, and 876,000 divorces a year. Given this, there are also over a million children that are subjected to divorce proceedings on an annual basis.
There are, of course, several reasons for divorce. Unfortunately, one of the more common reasons people seek divorce help from a law firm is due to domestic violence. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) reports that every minute, an average of 20 men and/or women are physically abused within the United States by their intimate partner. This amounts to over ten million women and men every year.
In addition to being aware of the signs of a potential abuser, it’s important to know how domestic violence is defined. The NCADV states that it is “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.” It’s important to note that this also includes threats of violence and emotional abuse.
At some point in their lives, the NCADV indicates that one out of every three women and one out of every four men have experienced physical violence from an intimate partner. This includes different forms, degrees, and frequencies of domestic violence. In some instances, this violence has been quite severe. According to the NCADV, this applies to one out of every four women and one out of every seven men.
While many instances of domestic violence may go unreported, others are not only reported but prosecuted. In the state of Virginia, for example, the NCADV claims that in 2012 alone, law enforcement received 17,664 reports of domestic violence crimes. At this time, while 20,718 arrests were made, just 26% of these arrests resulted in convictions. While there are a variety of reasons for this, such as insufficient evidence, it is also possible that these victims did not have proper counsel.
In addition to suffering bodily harm, victims of domestic violence also lose their lives. During 2012, the NCADV indicates that 117 Virginians died as a result of domestic abuse. Furthermore, this amounts to 34% of all homicides that occurred within this state, a large percentage of which were due to firearms being present.
When someone has been a victim of domestic violence or received another type of threat, it’s important to file a protective order with law enforcement. The NCADV fact sheet for Virginia also provides information on active protective orders. The police within this state estimate that at any one time, they have roughly 31,000 of these orders on file.
If you’ve experienced domestic violence, it’s important to contact the police. Following this, the next important step to take is to schedule a consultation with a domestic violence lawyer. In the event that you haven’t filed a protective order with your local police department, your domestic violence lawyer can assist you with this. Since this can be a painful and emotionally-challenging time, your domestic violence lawyer will guide you through the process and assist you with locating resources and proceeding with your case.