- by Mary Stearns-Montgomery
According to the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, in 2010, the number of crisis calls to Georgia’s certified domestic violence agencies was 71,212 and the number of protective and stalking orders issued in Georgia was 23,013. Domestic violence, also known as family violence, intimate partner violence and teen dating violence, is a widespread problem that continues to grow not only in the State of Georgia, but across the nation.
Georgia law defines domestic violence as any felony, battery, simple battery, simple assault, assault, stalking, criminal damage to property, unlawful restraint and criminal trespass between past or present spouses, persons who are parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children and persons living or formerly living in the same household (O.C.G.A. §19-13-1).
There are three types of abuse in a situation of domestic violence. They include:
- Physical abuse such as choking, hitting, kicking, punching, pushing and slapping and the threat of using weapons. Physical abuse can occur and leave no visible injuries.
- Psychological abuse can be in the form of manipulation, threats to you, your children and your family, control of assets especially cars and money, and criticizing and degrading you, your family, and peers.
- Sexual abuse occurs when a person employs, uses, persuades, induces, entices, or coerces a minor who is not that person’s spouse to engage in any sexual act.
Domestic violence and abuse is not limited to obvious physical violence. Domestic violence can also mean endangerment, criminal coercion, kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, trespassing, harassment, and stalking.
Studies have shown that domestic violence is committed primarily by males against females; although males and females in same-sex relationships experience domestic violence just as much as heterosexual females.
If your partner or spouse has ever hit you, threatened you, made you feel afraid, acted possessive, and attempted to control and isolate you away from your family and peers then you may be in an abusive relationship and a victim of domestic violence.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, be proactive and take the following steps:
- Call the police. There is no right for your spouse or partner to abuse and threaten you in your own home.
- Seek medical attention. Go to the emergency room and get checked out by your doctor. You may not be aware of hidden or potential injuries after the incident.
- Before you leave talk with an attorney. Find and locate a safe haven. There are crisis hotlines and centers including Battered Women’s shelters available in your area.
Speak with our caring attorneys on issues regarding domestic violence today. Get peace of mind and understand your options with an initial consultation. Call our attorneys of Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor today at 678-971-3413 or complete our simple contact form to set up your consultation and to receive additional information.