Protecting Yourself from Domestic Violence: What You Should Know
We often hear about domestic violence issues when celebrities and athletes are involved. As many Illinois residents know though, domestic violence is a significant problem in the rest of the population of the United States. According to the American Psychology Association, one out of every three women has experienced abuse by her partner in her lifetime. Domestic abuse affects every age, ethnicity, and class.
The latest newsworthy allegation involves Raymond Felton, a basketball player for the New York Knicks. His wife alleges that Mr. Felton threatened her with a firearm. While the facts are not yet established in the case, according to reports, Ms. Raymond-Felton did not wait for violence before getting help; she sought out support as soon as she was threatened.
This is an important lesson for all those at risk of domestic violence: a person should not necessarily wait until they are physically hurt to report a domestic disturbance.
However, domestic violence remains an underreported crime in the United States. Under state law, harassment and threats are sufficient to establish domestic violence; if the alleged incident involved a weapon, a simple threat would suffice.
Not Only a Matter of “Domesticity” and “Violence”
Ms. Raymond-Felton filed for divorce from her husband on February 18 and the incident allegedly occurred on February 24. While in this case, the couple is still married, domestic violence is not limited to married couples or people currently residing together. This misnomer may come from the usage of the word “domestic.” For that reason, it is also referred to as “intimate partner violence.” Domestic violence can involve a married couple, a previously married couple, people who are currently dating or have previously dated, or people who have a child together.
While the majority of victims are women, domestic violence is a problem that affects men as well. Gay and bisexual males are victimized at rates similar to those of heterosexual women.
As previously mentioned, domestic violence does not have to consist of violent actions. Harassment, stalking, intimidation, or threats all constitute domestic violence in the state of Illinois. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you should find the necessary services to protect yourself and your family. The principal way that you can obtain help is by filing a temporary restraining order. A temporary restraining order can prevent someone from contacting you, entering a shared home, and can also suspend custody and visitation rights.
Contact a Family Law Attorney
Domestic violence is a problem that should be resolved immediately at the slightest threat. A family law attorney can provide legal support in the event of relationship troubles. For help with divorce, custody, support, or similar issues in Palatine or nearby communities, contact the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C.