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Domestic violence is real, has consequences in divorce

Last weekend, the world saw rallies across the globe called the Women's March in an effort to raise awareness for abuses against women. It was estimated that over three million women across the globe participated in the rallies.

Domestic abuse, which can take many forms, was recently considered by the United States Surgeon General to be the number one health concern for Americans. It is an important issue that cannot be understated and should not be ignored. Anyone can fall victim to domestic violence, which is not simply applicable to married couples but any form of abuse in a household, including family members, cohabitants, children and any intimate partner. Sadly domestic violence springs up when children are present as well, which could lead to life-long struggles for the child growing up. Children, during their most impressionable years, exposed to violence are often more prone to act out in similar ways in adulthood.

Domestic violence is not isolated to just physical violence. It may also include emotional abuse such as trying to minimize a victim's self-worth, psychological abuse by invoking fear through threats and intimidation, economic abuse such as controlling a victim's personal or family's finances, stalking and cyberstalking.

It is important to recognize that domestic abuse may also play a role during a divorce. Domestic abusers may be denied custody or even visitation rights. It is important for all victims that any incident of domestic violence is reported to not only penalize the aggressor, but to save all victims, whether it is the target of the aggression or children present in the household at the time of the incident or incidents.

Source: FindLaw, "What is Domestic Violence?" Accessed on Jan. 30, 2017

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