Domestic violence has been all over the news recently. It occurs in every walk of life, whether rich or poor, black or white, celebrity or not. The effects of domestic violence can last a lifetime.
It is easy to pass judgment on the victim. How many times have we heard, “why didn’t she leave after the first time” or “she did something to deserve the abuse”. Instead of pointing fingers, we need to understand and support the victim. Women are not the only victims. Men are abused too and many are too embarrassed to reach out for help.
Many times victims of domestic violence grew up in dysfunctional or abusive families and do not know another life. Abuse seems normal to them. Additionally, their self-esteem is so low that they believe they are not worthy of better treatment. They are not able to see their value and continue to exist in an abusive relationship. For these victims leaving an abuser can be compared to climbing a snowy rocky mountain with no shoes, jacket or gloves. It is scary, painful and exposing.
It is crucial for victims, especially those with children, to get out of dangerous situations as soon as possible. Shelters or homes that specialize in domestic violence are the safest place. Many times our first reaction is to open our homes to a victim. Caution is required as you or your family can become a target of the abuser. Instead, research the best location in your area for the victim and ask about their safety plans, relationship with local police, programs to assist in getting the victim back on their feet, counseling for victim and children and assistance in bringing legal action against the abuser. All are essential for the victim to move forward into a healthy lifestyle.
In cases that involve marriage and/or children, a knowledgeable family law attorney will be needed. The attorney must be able to work with the victim, understand the mental, emotional and physical state they will experience throughout the process of divorce or custody/time sharing situations and have experience with Child Protective Services and other agencies that may be involved. The end goal is to create a positive, safe life for the victim and children.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing a relationship crisis which may include domestic violence contact an experienced family law attorney who can advise and guide you through the legal system in the most supportive manner. As a state certified family and circuit civil mediator as well as a proven and experienced attorney since 1974, Ronald A. Luzim brings an integrative and holistic approach to help his clients take full advantage of the family laws to protect their rights, interests and assist in the healing process. Please contact his Coral Springs office at 954-755-1500 for all your family law related needs.