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Victims of domestic violence cannot afford to wait for help

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