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The serious problem of domestic violence

Unfortunately, many cases involving families include allegations and incidences of acts of domestic violence perpetrated by one partner on the other. Every year, tens of thousands of domestic violence incidents are reported in New Jersey, while countless others go unreported. Domestic violence can result in the serious injury or death of victims if nothing is done to stop it.

Most domestic violence incidents occur between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 12:00 p.m., with the greatest number of incidents being reported on Sundays. A look at statistics compiled for 2011 is illustrative of the scope of the problem. In 31 percent of reported domestic violence cases in that year, children were present or involved. While victims included both males and females, women overwhelming accounted for the majority of the victims, with 76 percent of victims being female.

In 2011, 70,311 domestic violence reports were made to the police. Of those, 40 of the incidents resulted in the murder of the victim. The largest categories of domestic violence offenses included assaults and harassment, with 42 percent of the reported cases involving the former and 44 percent constituting harassment of the victim. Among reported cases, drug or alcohol use figured into 26 percent.

Domestic violence is obviously a huge problem in New Jersey and elsewhere around the country. Even though taking steps to free themselves from abuse may be in order, many victims are frightened about the possible retaliation they may face from their abusers. As such abuse is normally cyclical in nature, victims should not believe that an incident will only occur once. People should seek help if possible. Sometimes, the most important step is talking to a professional about the help that may be available. Victims of domestic violence may want to consult with a family law attorney about area shelters, the availability of restraining orders and other ways to protect themselves.

Source: New Jersey State Police, "Domestic Violence In New Jersey", December 2011

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