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Domestic Violence
by John M. Roberts

Domestic violence is a problem that can lead to serious injury or death

Many people suffer years of physical abuse in silence. They often hide the signs or make excuses for bruises, broken bones, black eyes, cuts, acute nervousness, stress, or mental abuse. You can't always tell when domestic violence is occurring. It may be happening right now to a close friend or relative and you may not know it.

Domestic violence may start with angry outbursts, criticism, threats, a push, a slap, or forced sex. It may also start with a violent physical assault and continue to get more violent as time passes.

It is estimated that between 3 and 4 million women become victims of physical, psychological, verbal, or sexual abuse by their spouses or partners each year and over 6,000 are killed.

Some women are battered during pregnancy. This may cause several things to go wrong such as the woman going into premature labor, the baby being injured while still in the womb, or the baby could be stillborn.

Children who witness domestic violence are often effected in ways that may not become apparent until later in life. They are at a higher risk for developing behavioral problems and may suffer from headaches, eating disorders, insomnia, bed wetting, and other disorders.

Although not reported as much, men are also the victims of domestic abuse. Many men are verbally and psychologically abused. They are yelled at, cursed, slapped, beaten, and attacked in other ways.

Domestic violence is often caused by jealously, drug and alcohol abuse, money woes, explosive tempers, guilt, anger, and other issues.

If there is no intervention, the abuse tends to become more frequent and more severe and when mothers are violently attacked, their children are often subjected to physical, mental, and sexual abuse as well.

Studies show that children who witness domestic violence often grow up and become physically abusive to their own spouses and their children as well.

Domestic abuse is a crime and if you are found guilty, you may be convicted and sent to jail. The severity of the punishment will be in direct correlation with the severity of the offense. In other words, your punishment may range from, probation, community service, a few nights in jail, to a short or long term prison sentence.

You may also be required by the courts to complete anger management courses, domestic violence classes, and parenting classes. In some domestic violence cases, the children are taken away from both parents and placed in foster homes.

The cycle of domestic violence can be broken before it begins if you recognize the abuser before the abuse begins.

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