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Expert in domestic violence testifies in Arias murder trial

Readers in Newton, New Jersey have probably heard about the Jodi Arias murder trial that is currently taking place. The young woman faces a possible death sentence if she is convicted of first-degree murder for the killing of her boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in 2008. Recently, a domestic violence expert was called to the stand in an attempt to explain why there is no evidence or witnesses to support the defendant's claims that her boyfriend had been abusing her for months before she killed him.

The expert explained that most victims of domestic violence do not tell anyone about the abuse because they feel ashamed and humiliated. According to the expert, the victims want other people to like the person they are with and do not want other people thinking that the victim has poor taste.

The expert also discussed how a person like the boyfriend could grow up to be an abuser. His parents were drug addicts who were abusive to each other. He and his siblings were often neglected, and they were later raised by their grandmother. The expert testified that those conditions were very abusive, and explained that such a child would not have the requisite skills to handle an intimate relationship later in life.

While the above story focuses on a murder trial, it brings up the very serious issue of domestic violence and demonstrates how it can tear apart the lives of everyone involved. It is important for anyone suffering from domestic violence or spousal abuse to understand that there are resources available that they can use to combat the abuse. For example, those who are abused may seek a temporary restraining order against the abuser in order to protect themselves and their children. They can also file a domestic violence claim against the person. In addition, there are organizations that can provide help and shelter for victims of abuse.

Domestic violence is an extremely traumatic and terrible experience for the victims. If at all possible, victims should seek help immediately. Waiting too long can lead to more problems. Had this high profile defendant sought help earlier, she may have avoided being prosecuted for murder.

Source: New Jersey Herald, "Domestic violence expert testifies in Arias trial," Brian Skoloff, March 28, 2013

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