According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), one in four women – and one in nine men – were victims of domestic violence based on data from 2010 to 2012. NISVS is an ongoing survey that collects state and national data on intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and stalking. The CDC developed NISVS to collect data on these public health problems and enhance violence prevention efforts. The NISVS data is used to monitor the extent of the problem and to evaluate the impact of prevention efforts.
Who Are the Victims of Domestic Violence?
Reported domestic violence often involves a female victim; each year, at least 1.3 million women are assaulted by their partner. Nonetheless, an increasing number of men are reported to be victims of domestic abuse. Recently, the National Centers for Disease Control reported that 40 percent of the victims of severe physical domestic violence were men, and more than one-half of the domestic assaults involving deadly weapons involved male victims.
Often, reports of domestic abuse by male victims are met with suspicion and possibly disbelief. Men are less likely to report domestic violence than women, resulting in statistics that are likely lower than actual numbers, and an inability for researchers to accurately study the incidents.
What is Being Done to Counter Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a public health issue and it is important to focus on prevention as well as identify strategies that are proven to reduce violence. Prevention efforts should start early and continue through adolescence and adulthood. Schools, the justice system, public health, education, and social services should work together to prevent domestic violence.
Steps to Take to Avoid or End an Abusive Situation
If you or someone you love is threatened with domestic violence, or has been a victim of domestic violence, there are steps to take to avoid an abusive situation:
- Have a plan if you fear domestic violence is imminent. Do not wait for the first act of violence – threats that put you in fear of bodily harm can be considered a crime. If your partner is threatening you, do not wait for them to act – call the police.
- If children are involved, apply for child custody or modification. If you suspect your partner has substance abuse or mental health issues, also request a psychological evaluation and counseling.
- Obtain counseling for yourself to help you cope, gain support, and increase the likelihood of moving on toward a better life. Also have the children talk to a counselor, even if they were not victims of actual physical abuse.
- Seek out supportive family and friends. Do not be ashamed, as domestic violence is never the fault of the victim. Stay away from people who try to place the blame on you in any way. Be aware that your partner may believe you are to blame and may tell others.
- Consult a lawyer if you are considering a divorce to remove yourself from the domestic violence situation. Help is available.
New Jersey Domestic Violence Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Advocate for Families
If you are contemplating divorce or separation and are afraid of your partner, or if you are a victim of domestic violence, our experienced New Jersey domestic violence lawyers are prepared to help you. At Lyons & Associates, P.C., our attorneys can assist you with your separation or divorce, including custody, child support, equitable distribution, and spousal support. Contact us online or call our Somerville, New Jersey offices at 908-575-9777 to schedule a free consultation.