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Mass shootings can be connected to domestic violence

While many couples in New Jersey have healthy, stable marriages, some relationships are deeply troubled. Some spouses identify these problems in their marriage and take action by seeking counseling and other support. In some cases, the problems in a relationship escalates to the point where a partner is the victim of abuse.

Abuse can take on many forms, including emotional abuse, sexual abuse, stalking and physical abuse. In some cases, a spouse may be threatened with a weapon. Recent statistics show that in 76 percent of mass shootings, there is some domestic violence connection. Spouses, children, relatives and even bystanders can be killed or injured in these incidents.

The reasons why domestic violence happens are complicated. What is clear, however, is the need for protective services and assistance to victims who are the target of abusers. In many cases, victims may be afraid to leave because they are in distress, don't understand their rights or are afraid of the consequences of divorce which may include increased threats of violence, loss of child custody or becoming homeless.

Assistance for domestic abuse victims is available through community service organizations and domestic violence shelters. In addition, a victim or someone who was afraid that tensions within their marriage may continue to escalate, may benefit from speaking with an experienced family law attorney. An attorney may be able to assist a client by providing a realistic understanding of the separation and divorce process. The attorney may also be able to assist the client in obtaining protective orders against the abusive spouse as well as identifying important financial and child custody issues that may be of concern to the client.

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