Domestic violence is a very real issue that touches families without regard to race, religion, or annual income. Domestic violence can come in many forms, including the following.
- Physical abuse, such as punching, hitting, kicking, biting, pushing, slapping, hair pulling, or shoving.
- Emotional abuse, such as being disparaging, putting the other person down, not paying attention, being actively disrespectful, employing “the silent treatment” or making degrading remarks.
- Verbal abuse, such as name calling, being overly critical, yelling, interrupting, or hurtful words.
- Sexual abuse, such as non-consensual sex acts, insisting on sex “on demand,” degrading sex acts and forced sexual intercourse.
- Economic abuse, such as preventing one from attending school or work, or advancing their job, training, maintaining complete control over the money the family has, not paying bills when they are due, and not allowing access to financial information.
NEW YORK DOMESTIC VIOLENCE STATISTICS
The State of New York’s Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence maintains statistics on domestic violence. Some of these stats may surprise you.
- Intimate partner homicides totaled 78 in 2016, an increase of 22 percent from 2015.
- Orders for protection are at a five year high.
- The number of people requesting to take advantage of New York’s Address Confidentiality Program increased by almost 1/3 between 2015 and 2016.
New York maintains a Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline, which is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This free and confidential hotline can be accessed at 1-800-942-6906. Victims of domestic violence can contact the Hotline for assistance. The Hotline offers support and information for anyone who is interested. The Hotline also provides referrals to shelters and other programs that may assist victims of domestic abuse, and domestic abuse survivors. The Hotline also offers safety planning, for victims, their children, and even their pets. Finally, Hotline offers crisis intervention and supportive counseling.
HOW TO BE AN ALLY
As part of their campaign to reduce domestic violence, New York State has issued some guidelines for how to be a good ally and make a difference. They suggest being an ally to victims of domestic violence by extending understanding, compassion, courage, and patience. They also encourage the following behaviors when being an ally to victims of domestic violence.
- Talk to them privately.
- Value their feelings.
- Believe them.
- Ask how you can help.
- Build on their strengths.
- Support their decisions.
Behaviors to avoid include blaming the victim, imposing one’s own biases, and avoiding stereotypes regarding who may be the victim of domestic violence.
DO YOU NEED A DIVORCE ATTORNEY?
Domestic violence adds another layer of complexity to divorce cases. However, an attorney experienced in domestic assault and divorce cases can help. At Frost & Kavanaugh, we approach every divorce case recognizing it has its own unique set of circumstances. Contact us today to discuss your divorce case. We can answer all your questions and help create a plan for the weeks and months ahead. Call (518) 730-4222.