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Family violence, Part 1: an evil that can be hard to respond to

Domestic abuse in a Georgia home or elsewhere nationally is often like a stick of dynamite waiting to go off. It can happen suddenly and explosively, with the victim in many cases having no idea what set off the charge.

Indeed, there is often no precipitating factor involved at all in family violence, and there is certainly never a valid reason for it to occur. Perpetrators of domestic violence acts often strike out for one reason only, and that is their desire to act aggressively toward their spouse, their children or other family members. Often, issues of dominance and control are at the heart of domestic abuse, as can be the desire to belittle a victim and elicit fear.

Domestic violence takes on many forms, including verbal harassment, humiliating behaviors and various types of mental abuse.

And, of course, physical abuse is often at the very core of family violence incidents.

Both the occurrence of violence and the reminders it often leaves -- such as bruising and scars -- are often not apparent to non-family members like friends, acquaintances, teachers and clergy members, making it difficult for many victims to be comforted and otherwise assisted.

Additionally, domestic violence acts in many instances occur inside the home, an environment typically perceived by victims as being an intensely private realm. What goes on within its walls is often viewed as being strictly off limits to outside scrutiny.

That fosters a culture of victims’ reticence and makes domestic violence a flatly insidious evil across the country.

An innovative program aimed at curbing domestic abuse that was established in 2002 in Alabama is now picking up steam in another state and could ultimately become a relevant violence-fighting tool in Georgia and across the country.

We believe that many of our readers might be interested in its details, which we will set forth in our next blog post.

Source: USA TODAY, "Mass. stylists taught to spot domestic violence," Denise Lavoie, Feb. 2, 2014

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