Domestic Violence – Marielynn Herrera
Domestic violence is a systematic pattern of exercising control over one party by another. It can be physical or sexual in nature, with emotional, psychological and financial abuse.
At the center of abuse is power and control, which can look like extreme jealousy, isolation, animal cruelty, or obstructing someone’s ability to go to school or work. Financial abuse is also increasing and you may find yourself without options to maneuver if your partner controls the money. Domestic Violence centers typically work pro-bono to connect you with legal and other resources so you can make a plan at no cost.
The most dangerous time is when you’ve broken away from your spouse or partner. You’ve taken control and he/she will try and reinstate that power. Before you make a move to get out, identify who you can call and where you can go. Centers have increased their communication options so you can call, email or even text for help.
Domestic violence can be difficult to prosecute without evidence. Many victims are hesitant to document because they are embarrassed or afraid, but it’s critical to memorialize what’s happened, especially if you are trying to obtain a restraining order or Orders of Protection.
Some great resources include the National Network to End Domestic Violence, local Domestic Violence Centers, or just search “domestic violence”. If you don’t want a record on the home computer or your phone, go to a local library.