It's incredibly difficult for society to cope with the problem of domestic
violence because the statistics are staggering. In New York's Dutchess
County there were 4,455 domestic violence incidents reported and this
resulted in 1,044 arrests. Despite actions being taken to reduce the number
of incidents, it was still felt that there was a need to use what was
called a lethality assessment instrument. This assessment was meant to
assess the risks of domestic violence incidents that could result in a fatality.
Only four percent of victims that lost their lives due to a domestic violence
incident had ever taken advantage of services designed to assist them.
This is particularly sad when considering that many resources have been
set-up specifically to help these individuals out. Though these programs
have been able to reduce the number of repeat assaults, victims of domestic
violence recognize that there are dangers in requesting such services.
The availability of domestic violence shelters has helped. Actions have
also been taken to motivate victims to take actions that result in protection
for themselves. Still improvements have been slow and certain programs
are still in the pilot implementation stage. The entire community must
be involved before much greater improvement can be seen.
Because domestic violence is devastating, victims of
domestic violence situation would be strongly advised to consult with an attorney experienced
in the family law area. Domestic violence may be impossible to comprehend
for those that have never witnessed the consequences of this behavior.
These attorneys can also put victims in touch with the resources that
they need. We cannot allow for victims to be forced to wait for assistance.
Source: Poughkeepsie Journal, "Responding to domestic violence in Dutchess County," Rob Rolison, June 15, 2014