October Was Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Each year, Domestic Violence Awareness Month is held during October. The goal is to shed light on a troubling and unfortunately common problem. People who experience domestic violence often feel isolated and ashamed to tell their family or friends. Our Leesburg divorce attorneys hope that by calling attention to the issues, we can encourage people in this situation to get the help they need.
Raising Awareness About Domestic Violence
Since 1981, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has partnered with local, state, and national officials to raise awareness about domestic violence and guide those experiencing it towards resources in their communities.
Under the Virginia Code, there are serious criminal penalties for assaulting a spouse, domestic partner, or other family member. However, physical acts such as hitting, punching, or pushing are only one type of abuse. Domestic violence may include any of the following:
- Sexual assault, harassment, and rape;
- Emotional abuse, such as constant put downs and humiliating you in front of others;
- Financial abuse, such as denying you access to money and making you dependant on the abuser for living expenses;
- Threats of causing harm to you, your friends, family, or pets;
- Destruction of your personal property;
- Stalking you at work, school, or other places.
If you are experiencing any of the above, it is important to get help immediately. Without interventions, domestic violence never gets better. In fact, it generally gets worse. According to the Virginia Department of Health, domestic violence is responsible for roughly one-third of all homicides that occur in the state each year.
Getting The Help You Need
There are numerous domestic violence resources in Loudoun County that can assist people in getting the help they need. Our Loudoun County attorneys can also help you in getting a protective order put in place, which can help to accomplish the following:
- Can grant the right to remain in the family home;
- Can prohibit the abuser from appearing at the property or attempting to contact you in any way;
- Can grant you temporary rights to sole custody of any children from the relationship;
- May require the abuser to pay spousal or child support;
- May require them to obtain counseling and to report to the court on a regular basis;
- Can prohibit them from being in possession of firearms or other weapons;
- May require them to seek alcohol or drug counseling as needed;
- Subjects them to arrest if they are found in violation of the terms of the order.
Getting yourself to safety is the first step. Victims of domestic violence are often surprised by the number of resources available and by the fact that friends and family are so willing to help. If you suspect someone is being abused, talk to them about the issue. Let them know that help and support are available to them.
Contact Us Today for Help
At Schwartz Kalina, PLLC, we act as a strong legal advocate on the side of domestic violence victims, helping them take the steps needed to rebuild their lives. Call or contact our Leesburg family law attorneys online and request a confidential consultation today.