In the event of domestic violence, what should a person do?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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First and foremost, it is important for the person to get away from the aggressor. S/he should seek the assistance of a friend or a neighbor. In the event of domestic violence, immediate police assistance should be requested. Often, local police officers and sheriffs have received special training with respect to domestic violence and can be extremely helpful to a victim. In addition to local law enforcement personnel, city and district attorneys may be very helpful not only in prosecuting the crime, but also in providing referrals to other local assistance – emergency shelters such as “safe houses,” counseling, and legal assistance. 

A victim of domestic violence should never try to “go it alone.” The usual profile of an abusive person is an aggressive, dominant personality that is both manipulative and controlling. The victim of domestic violence is often very vulnerable and can be persuaded from attempting to obtain assistance. Outside assistance is often essential in protecting a victim of domestic violence. 

As a final word on this subject, a victim of domestic violence should never shy away from requesting assistance because of a perceived stigma attached to being a victim of domestic violence. Domestic violence pervades all socio-economic classes. A “rich” person is just as likely to be a victim of domestic violence as a “poor” one. Whatever your background, if you been abused, get assistance with a domestic violence situation immediately for your own health and safety, as well as the health and safety of those close to you.

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