Sunday, November 29, 2009
As the Tiger Woods incident begins to unfold, it is good to remind ourselves that domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, child abuse, elder abuse or intimate partner violence (IPV), can be broadly defined a pattern of abusive behaviors by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, friends or cohabitation. Domestic violence has many forms including physical aggression (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, throwing objects), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect); and economic deprivation. Popular emphasis has tended to be on women as the victims of domestic violence. Many studies show that women suffer greater rates of injury due to domestic violence, and some studies show that women suffer higher rates of assault. Yet, other statistics show that while men tend to inflict injury at higher rates, the majority of domestic violence overall is reciprocal. If you are afraid for your safety or have been beaten by your partner: Dial 911 or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-787-3224. You may or may not need an attorney and many domestic violence organizations have pro bono services available.