Domestic violence is a serious problem which plagues communities across the nation, including those right here in our backyards. It’s one problem with various causes: social, historical, economic and educational factors. There are, however, many positive steps being taken by groups and determined individuals to help eradicate the problem. Here are a few steps you can take to help prevent domestic violence.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic abuse is a form of abuse where one person uses violence (either physical, emotional, sexual or verbal) to try and control a loved one. Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of race, gender, age or creed, and has devastating effects on families, relationships and communities. Domestic violence is something that hits very close to home here in South Florida. Miami-Dade has the highest rates of domestic violence in the state, with over 9,000 cases reported annually.
Intimate Partner Violence
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies domestic violence between spouses as “intimate partner violence” (IPV). IPV refers to any abuse, be it physical, sexual or emotional, by a current or former spouse or partner. CDC studies show that one-in-five women and one-in-seven men are the victims of IPV abuse.
Preventing Domestic Violence
There are countless ways to protect your loved ones or the broader community from domestic violence or IPV. Here are a few of the most important to remember:
Know the Warning Signs
Since domestic violence can happen to anyone, knowing the critical signs of domestic violence is essential to identifying and addressing the problem if you see it. Some of the signs of domestic violence include a person:
- Embarrassing or shaming another individual.
- Preventing a loved one from working.
- Controlling all financial decisions.
- Showing signs of jealousy when the victim spends time away from them.
- Threatening a loved one.
- Intimidating a loved one.
Don’t Ignore Warning Signs
Part of knowing the warning signs of domestic abuse is brave enough not to ignore them when you see them. If you suspect domestic violence, you owe it to the victim to contact law enforcement. You never know, by saying something, you could save a life.
Be a Resource to Those in Need
If someone is the victim of domestic abuse, they may be unable to get the information they need to protect themselves because their abuser may be suspicious. Being knowledgeable about resources, such as phone numbers for domestic abuse hotlines or local shelters can help victims get the care they need when they have a chance to break the cycle of violence. Some of the most critical numbers to jot down are:
- Florida Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-621-4202
- Miami-Dade Advocates for Victims: 1-305-758-2546
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Be the Change You Want to See
Perhaps the best way you can help prevent domestic abuse or IPV in your community is to be an active participant in making change happen. Get out and spread the word. Assist local charities and shelters, and use your power and voice to help those in danger get the support and love they deserve and need.
Piotrowski Law – South Florida’s Premier Criminal Defense Firm
At Piotrowski Law, we are committed to protecting South Floridians from the problem of domestic violence. We are strong advocates for domestic violence victims, including those who are wrongly accused of domestic violence. If you need a determined legal defense attorney, contact Chad Piotrowski today at 1-305-204-5000.