Family members don't get along from time to time. While these could be categorized as silly fights, others can be very dramatic and serious. Even when family members are able to keep their emotions and temper in check, a certain dispute could erupt into a full-blown fight that turns aggressive. Domestic violence can be a very serious situation for families in New York and elsewhere. These events could tear families apart, even causing some to seek added protection from future occurrences.
Violence or abuse that occurs between people who are related or who are in close relationships is often termed a domestic dispute. Although it is often thought of as only a problem between individuals in intimate relationships, in New York the laws regarding domestic disputes also extend to family members related by blood. This can mean that abuse committed by a parent toward their child is punishable under the domestic violence statutes of the state.
As many married New Yorkers can attest, living with someone and sharing one's life with a partner can be both beautiful and challenging. While it is wonderful to have a committed relationship on which the partners may build trust and love, it can be difficult to adapt to the many changes one must accept in order to successfully live in a marriage. Not all marriages last, as readers of this family law blog may know, and an unfortunate number of couples experience extreme emotions that can sometimes turn into more serious actions.
It is a heartbreaking reality that many people in New York suffer in silence as the victims of domestic violence. It is not always possible to tell if a person is a domestic violence victim just by looking at them, as domestic violence is more than just physical violence. Domestic violence can involve emotional and psychological harm, physical and sexual abuse and other damaging means of inflicting misery on members of the aggressors' households.
New York residents often change relationships over the course of their lives. Whether they date several people before they marry, spend their lives in unmarried partnerships or enter into subsequent marriages after ending prior unions, many people do not spend their lives with the first people they form intimate relationships with.
Orders for protection are issued by New York courts for the protection of victims of domestic violence. Because domestic violence may take on many different forms, orders for protection are not limited to simple restrictions on the aggressors' behaviors. A variety of different actions may be prevented and prohibited for a domestic violence abuser per the terms of a valid order for protection.
Some people in New York may think that domestic violence is limited to physical attacks. However, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence provides a broad definition of what constitutes domestic violence. Domestic violence occurs between intimate partners and can involve physical abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse. Domestic violence does not have to follow a pattern or happen regularly. It may look very different from household to household, but generally involves the desire of the abuser to control their victim.
As previously discussed on this New York family law blog, domestic violence is a serious problem that does not limit itself to only affecting individuals of certain social, economic or ethnic backgrounds. It is an issue for communities all throughout the nation, and despite its pervasiveness it can feel incredibly isolating as victims often suffer alone. However, stories of domestic violence often hit the national news when famous individuals are involved in the claims.
The image that a New York family shows to the world may be very different than the reality of the family's everyday life. While many families operate with love and disagreements, never allowing either to cause extreme or dangerous behavior between the members, others are plagued by a very real and very damaging problem: domestic violence. Members of a family may conceal their abuse from others and carry the burden of violence alone, without the support of those they may trust.