How to Identify Domestic Violence

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been a victim of severe violence by their partner. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a movement that began in 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence as a way to spread awareness about the dangers and warning signs of domestic abuse. Over the last 30 years, great strides have been made to help victims of domestic violence leave dangerous situations; however, sadly, abuse is still very prevalent in our society. 

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) defines domestic abuse as “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, economic, and emotional/psychological abuse.” According to the NCADV, 37.9% of women and 29.3% of men in Florida, experience intimate partner dating violence, sexual violence, and/or stalking in their lifetimes.

Victims of domestic violence often feel trapped in their situation, and many are isolated by their abusers. However, there are several organizations that work every day to help men and women leave violent relationships, including the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

It is important to remember that domestic violence can happen to anyone, even someone that you love. There are many signs that you or your loved one may be in a violent relationship. Warning signs of abuse include but are not limited to:

  • Extreme jealousy
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Insulting and shaming the victim, especially in public
  • Control over finances
  • Intimidation through looks, actions or weapons
  • Destruction of belongings
  • Sudden changes in personality or appearance
  • False accusations
  • Unpredictable behavior by the abuser
  • Excessive blame on the victims for things out of their control

If you or someone you know is in a violent relationship, know that you are not alone. Dealing with domestic violence can be emotionally and physically draining, and legally challenging.  Having an experienced family law attorney on your side can help you secure the best outcome for yourself and your future. Do not hesitate to call the Law Office of Joseph Cerino today at (239) 561-2820. 


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The law office of Joseph Cerino handles all matters of litigation, concentrating in family law including divorce, custody, child support, paternity, alimony, property division and domestic violence, as well as, criminal defense and appeals in Southwest Florida.

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