Family violence: a constant peril for some in Georgia, nationally

The term “epidemic” often finds its way into discussions on domestic violence, and for reasons that are manifestly apparent.

No locale is immune from family violence, nor does domestic abuse spare any demographic group, whether gauged by race, wealth, marital status or any other measuring device.

Gender, of course, is something that is most notable in domestic violence reports in Georgia and nationally, with it being flatly clear that most victims are women. Notwithstanding that fact, though, males are also victimized by violence; the executive director of one Georgia emergency shelter for abuse victims says that about 15 percent of all persons seeking help at her facility are men.

Authorities and anti-violence groups make strong and persistent efforts to accurately weigh the magnitude of family violence that is occurring in the state, needing that information to optimally train responders and direct resources.

An annual report recently released by two groups — the Georgia Commission on Family Violence and the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence — should aid in promoting that goal.

The co-issued work, titled the 2013 Domestic Violence Fatality Review Report, presents findings based on analysis of previous cases in which a violence victim was murdered by an attacker.

Some common threads seem to generally emerge from fatal abuse cases, including these: victim/attacker relations often begin while the victim is a teenager; in many instances, the victim is contemplating exiting a relationship when a fatal attack occurs; many victims have few financial resources; and victims often engage in a persistent cycle of leaving and returning to their attackers before ultimately departing permanently.

Tragically, that permanence is sometimes marked by death.

Domestic violence in any form or fashion is lamentable and needs to be stopped immediately. The consequences of not doing so are far too often tragic.

A family law attorney experienced in dealing with domestic violence issues — as well as with false claims of abuse that are sometimes brought for varied reasons — can often help, through strong legal intervention on behalf of a client, relevant referrals and in other ways.

Source: Online Athens, “Report sheds light on domestic violence, but questions remain,” Walter C. Jones, March 30, 2014

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