Abuse of Visitation Rights

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One of the hardest parts of divorce or some other sort of domestic breakup is losing daily contact with your child. This can be especially difficult when the court issues a custody and visitation order that you think is unfair. Either parent, custodial or non-custodial, might want to ignore the visitation terms of the order. If they do so, however, they’re abusing the law and endangering their rights.

You Can Enforce a Visitation Order

The parent who has not violated the visitation terms of a custody order can always take the other parent back to court to enforce the order. This might happen if the child the parent lives with refuses to turn the child over to the other parent for visitation time.

Conversely, the non-custodial parent might refuse to return the child after visitation. Judges will generally order make-up time to the parent who lost visitation with the child because of the other parent’s refusal. Many courts will also order both parents to attend counseling or mediation.

Contempt of Court for Violation of Visitation Order

When someone repeatedly abuses a visitation order, a judge can find that parent in contempt of court. This usually results in the violating parent having to pay the other parent’s attorney’s fees and legal fees for bringing the problem to the attention of a judge. Contempt can also result in the violating parent serving jail time. Usually, this is only for a short period of time if the parent promises to follow the visitation terms of the custody order in the future.

Criminal Charges for Violation of Visitation Order

In some states, interference with the visitation terms of a custody order is a criminal offense. This is particularly true if the parent abuses the court order repeatedly. Some states are less strict about criminal charges than others. In some areas, the violating parent must keep the child for a period of days, in spite of the other parent’s objections, before the police will become involved.

 

To read the full article go to http://family-law.lawyers.com/visitation-rights/abuse-of-visitation-rights.html.

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–Tamara L. Daniels, Professional Visitation Provider

 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Know the facts.

The Facts on Domestic, Dating and Sexual Violence

Domestic, dating and sexual violence are costly and pervasive problems in this country, causing victims, as well as witnesses and bystanders, in every community to suffer incalculable pain and loss. In addition to the lives taken and injuries suffered, partner violence shatters the sense of well-being that allows people to thrive. It also can cause health problems that last a lifetime, and diminish children’s prospects in school and in life. The United States has made progress in the last few decades in addressing this violence, resulting in welcome declines1 – but there is more work to do to implement the strategies that hold the most promise. These include teaching the next generation that violence is wrong, training more health care providers to assess patients for abuse, implementing workplace prevention and victim support programs, and making services available to all victims including immigrants and children who witness violence.

Prevalence of Violence in the United States

On average more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States. In 2005, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner.2

 In 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published data collected in 2005 that finds that women experience two million injuries from intimate partner violence each year.3

 Nearly one in four women in the United States reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life.4

 Women are much more likely than men to be victimized by a current or former intimate partner.5 Women are 84 percent of spouse abuse victims and 86 percent of victims of abuse at the hands of a boyfriend or girlfriend and about three-fourths of the persons who commit family violence are male. 6

 There were 248,300 rapes/sexual assaults in the United States in 2007, more than 500 per day, up from 190,600 in 2005. Women were more likely than men to be victims; the rate for rape/sexual assault for persons age 12 or older in 2007 was 1.8 per 1,000 for females and 0.1 per 1,000 for males.7

 The United States Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 3.4 million persons said they were victims of stalking during a 12-month period in 2005 and 2006. Women experience 20 stalking victimizations per 1,000 females age 18 and older, while men experience approximately seven stalking victimizations per 1,000 males age 18 and older. 8

The best contribution anyone can make, is to REPORT IT.

To continue reading the full article, click the link below. Sign up to receive your FREE poster; brining AWARENESS to these crimes against women.

Box 3 Futures Without Violence

http://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/userfiles/file/Children_and_Families/DomesticViolence.pdf

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

So you have a Supervised Visitation Court Order…Now What?

 

What is Supervised Visitation?

Supervised Visitation refers to a contact between a non-custodial parent (NCP) and one or more children in the presence of a neutral third person responsible to observing and seeking to ensure the safety of those involved. “Provider Visitation”, Supervised Child Access” and Supervised Child Contract” are other terms with the same meaning.

What is Supervised Exchange?

Supervised Exchanges sometimes referred to as “Provider Exchanges” or “Supervised/Provider Transfers”, is supervision of the transfer of the child from one parent to the other. Supervision is limited to the exchange or transfer only with the remainder of the parent/child contact remaining unsupervised. Most frequently precautions are taken to assure that the two parents or other individuals exchanging the child do not come into contact with one another.

What is the purpose?

Both Supervised Visits and Supervised Exchanges are designed to assure that a child can have safe contact with an absent parent without having to be put in the middle of the parents’ conflicts or other problems. It is the child’s need that is paramount in making any decisions regarding the need for such supervision. However, there are also some significant benefits to parents. It is our hope that no one will look upon supervised visitation or exchange as a negative or stigmatized service. It is a tool that can help families as they go through difficult and/or transitional times. Some of the benefits for the various family members are as follows:

 

For the children:

  • It allows the children to maintain a relationship with both of their parents something that is generally found to be an important factor in the positive adjustment to family dissolution.
  •  It allows them to anticipate the visits without the stress of worrying about what is going to happen and to enjoy themselves in a safe, comfortable environment without having to be put in the middle of their parents’ conflict and/or other problems.

For the custodial parents:

  • You do not have to communicate or have contact with a person with whom you are in conflict or by whom you might be frightened or intimated. The arrangements can be made by a neutral party (the visit supervisor/provider) and there does not have to be contact before, during, and after the visits.
  •  You can relax and feel comfortable allowing your child to have contact with the other parent-and can get some valuable time to yourself.

For the non-custodial parents:

You can be sure that your contact with your children does not have to be interrupted regardless of any personal or interpersonal problems you may be having.

If allegations have been made against you, which are often the case when supervision is ordered, you can visit without fear of any new accusations because there is someone present who can verify what happened during your time together. When using a professional service, you can also be assured that the supervisors are neutral and objective.

Supervision in the case of parental separation:

When parents separate, the children most often will have primary residence with one parent and regularly spend time with the other. Visitation, contact, and access are words used to refer to post-separation contact with the non-residential parent or another significant person, such as a grand-parent, sibling, or other relative. When the courts feel it is appropriate, they may order that such visitation take place in the presence of a third party.

Supervised exchanges may be court ordered or arranged by the parent and are generally appropriate when there is no question about the safety of the child, but when one or both parents do not feel safe or comfortable interacting directly with the other. It is always better for the child to not be put into a situation where he/she is exposed to the anger and conflict of the parents.

Supervision in the case of out-of-home placement:

When a child comes under the jurisdiction of Child Protective Services (CPS) and is removed from the home because of a risk of child abuse or neglect, it is usually important that the parent/child relationship continue.

CPS generally provides these services. However, they may have limited resources that restrict the frequency, duration, and nature or the contact. In some areas, they have found it useful to contract with outside supervised visitation programs to provide services.

Since supervision in the case of out-of-home placement is generally controlled very closely by the state or local CPS regulations, the information here applies primarily to supervision in the case of parental separation.

How do I make sure the service will meet my needs?

Be sure to check the court order to see if it specifics the kind of supervision (Off site or On site, Professional or Non-professional). Then check with the provider to see that all conditions can be met. Due to the limited resources available in most communities for such services, if the court order specifies a “on site agency/facility” you will probably have to be flexible and travel a distance. Some agencies are open for limited times, particularly in smaller communities. Most Professional Provider’s work weekdays, weekends and holidays. Do your Homework. Ask for references. Ask for a copy of their Certificate of Completion obtained from training class. Ask if they have Professional Liability Insurance.

Attendee Testimonials

“I love being my student’s go-to-person – talking with them as they launch their professional visitation monitoring careers, corresponding with them by email and meeting them in person at a live training session.” – Tamara L. Daniel, Business Owner, Professional Development Trainer

 “I obtained my professional monitor training from Tamara Daniels of Supervised Child Visits (SCV) in December 2013, which was one of the best decisions of my career. Since that time, I have worked consistently, currently have three clients, and have received referrals directly from local family practice attorneys.” I would highly recommend Supervised Child Visits for anyone seeking a rewarding career as a professional supervised visitation monitor.” –L. Mcgown

 

“Hi Tamara,

This is Itai and I took your class last year and finally  started the business in December  and I have had 1 steady client since then and it has been going very well and been extremely beneficial  financially to my family. I still work full time as a Special Education teacher in east Salinas but doing both jobs has been easier than I once thought. Thank you for all of your insight and training that made this possible.”

 

“Hello Ms. Tamara, update on this case, the attorney for the NCP wanted to see all documents and I did get the NCP to complete and sign the documents for the attorney’s. The exchange takes place at the sheriff’s station, four hour weekly visit which include one hour at the library for home work which is directly across from the sheriff’s station and the balance of time at park or Chuck E Cheese, etc. (10 yr. old boy)The attorney said it was an unusual case but all is well.” –J Pete.

 

Why do you want to become a visitation monitor? “To help my husband. He trained with you 2 years ago and he has 5 clients now and scheduling with just 1 Monitor is getting very difficult. I want to help where I can so we can continue to grow.” –L Retig.

 

“I have had three clients since your August 2014. One on Sundays for three hours, another on Monday for 2 hours, and another for 2 hours on Tuesday. Business, life, and God have been good to me. Thank you for everything :)” — Bree S.

 “Hello from San Diego. I finally got started after getting my son off to college and managing a full-time job and now I have 2 clients; one of them is 10 hours a week. WOW!” — Zanna S

“I just want to say, Thank You, Ms. Tamara Daniels for encouraging me to take your training class. I feel I have found my niche. Your training was exceptional and your system really works if you just follow the steps you provided us with. I took your class in August 2014 and have received many inquiries. I have 2 solid clients and 3 additional in the process. Thank you so much.” –Kathy A.

“Thank you for an amazing class! What could have been a boring and tedious process was made interesting mixed in with some levity.” –Teri Rappaport

Facts about Sex Offenders

 

As Professional Supervised Visitation Providers we must stay knowledgeable, informed and current regarding threats to personal safety and security–be it in our professions or private lives.

Let us see how much we know-and see how much of what we think has been based on the myths we have all heard about sexual assault and sex offenders.

Most men who commit sexual offenses do not know their victim. False. 90% of child victims know their offender, with almost half of the offenders being a family member. Of sexual assaults against people age 12 and up, approximately 80% of the victims know the offender.

Most sexual assaults are committed by someone of the same race as the victim. True. Most sexual assaults are committed by someone of the same race as the victim. An exception to this is that people who commit sexual assault against Native Americans are usually not Native American (American Indians and Crime, 1999).

Most child sexual abusers use physical force or threat to gain compliance from their victims. False. In the majority of cases, abusers gain access to their victims through deception and enticement, seldom using force. Abuse typically occurs within a long-term, ongoing relationship between the offender and victim and escalates over time.

Most child sexual abusers find their victims by frequenting such places as schoolyards and playgrounds. False. Most child sexual abusers offend against children whom they know and with whom they have established a relationship. Many sexual assaults of adult women are considered “confidence rapes,” in that the offender knows the victim and has used that familiarity to gain access to her.

Only men commit sexual assault. False. While most sex offenders are male, sometimes sex offenses are committed by female offenders.

Child sexual abusers are only attracted to children and are not capable of appropriate sexual relationships. False. While there is a small subset of child sexual abusers who are exclusively attracted to children, the majority of the individuals who sexually abuse children are (or have previously been) attracted to adults.

Victims of sexual assault are harmed only when offenders use force. False. More than any physical injuries the victim sustains, the violation of trust that accompanies most sexual assaults has been shown to dramatically increase the level of trauma the victim suffers. Emotional and psychological injuries cause harm that can last much longer than physical wounds.

If a child does not tell anyone about the abuse, it is because he or she must have consented to it. False. Children often do not tell for a variety of reasons including the offender’s threats to hurt or kill someone the victim loves, as well as shame, embarrassment, wanting to protect the offender, feelings for the offender, fear of being held responsible or being punished, fear of being disbelieved, and fear of losing the offender who may be very important to the child or the child’s family.

It is common for both child and adult victims of sexual assault to wait some time before telling someone about the abuse. True. It is common for victims of sexual assault to wait some time before telling someone. When the person was assaulted as a child, he or she may wait years or decades. The reasons for this are numerous: victims may want to deny the fact that someone they trusted could do this to them; they may want to just put it behind them; they may believe the myth that they caused the assault by their behavior; or they may fear how other people will react to the truth.

If someone sexually assaults an adult, he will not target children as victims, and if someone sexually assaults a child, he will not target adults. False. Research and anecdotal evidence indicate that while some sex offenders choose only one type of victim (e.g., prepubescent girls, post-pubescent boys, adult women, etc.), others prey on different types of victims. Therefore, no assumptions should be made about an offender’s victim preference and precautions should be taken regardless of his crime of conviction.

It helps the victim to talk about the abuse. True. The victim’s recovery will be enhanced if she or he feels believed, supported, protected, and receives counseling following the disclosure that s/he was assaulted. However, sexual assault victims should always have the choice about when, with whom, and under what conditions they wish to discuss their experiences.

Sexual gratification is often not a primary motivation for a rape offender. True. While some offenders do seek sexual gratification from the act, sexual gratification is often not a primary motivation for a rape offender. Power, control, and anger are more likely to be the primary motivators.

Offenders could stop their sexually violent behavior on their own if they wanted to. False. Wanting to change is usually not enough to be able to change the patterns that lead to sexual offenses. To create the motivation to change, some offenders need a variety of treatment and corrective interventions, and for others learning how to make the change in their own behavioral cycle of abuse is more effective.

Men who rape do so because they cannot find a consenting sexual partner. False. Studies suggest that most rape offenders are married or in consenting relationships.

Drugs and alcohol cause sexual offenses to occur. False. While drugs and alcohol are often involved in sexual assaults, drugs and alcohol do not cause sexual offenses to occur. Rather, drug and alcohol use may be a disinhibitor for the offender, while being under the influence may increase a potential victim’s vulnerability.

Victims of sexual assault often share some blame for the assault. False. Adult and child victims of sexual abuse are never to blame for the assault, regardless of their behavior. Because of the age difference, children are unable to legally consent to sexual acts. They are often made to feel like willing participants, which further contributes to their shame and guilt.

If a victim does not say “no” or does not “fight back,” it is not sexual assault. False. Sexual assault victims may not say “no” or not fight back for a variety of reasons including fear and confusion. Rape victims often report being “frozen” by fear during the assault, making them unable to fight back; other victims may not actively resist for fear of angering the assailant and causing him to use more force in the assault. Pressure to be liked and not be talked about negatively by a peer will sometimes cause adolescents or children to avoid fighting back or actively resisting.

 

Responding to an Allegation of Suspected Child Abuse

 

Procedures for Mandated Reporting of Any Allegation of Abuse or Neglect of a Minor

 

LISTEN:  First and foremost, listen compassionately, validate the courage of the person making the report, and apologize for any pain the reporting person is feeling.

GET BASICS:  Name(s), address(es), phone numbers (s) of the victim, the alleged perpetrator, the person making the Report and witnesses (if available). Refer to the “Suspected Child Abuse Report” form. Do not investigate the incident.

CALL IMMEDIATELY:     

Los Angeles County Child Abuse Hot Line:  800-500-4000

Santa Barbara County Child Abuse Hot Line:  800-367-0166

Ventura County Child Abuse Hot Line:   800-754-7600

Victims Assistance Ministry Office:   213-637-7650

OR contact the local police station.

For Hearing Impaired:   TDD 800-272-6699
 

When you call in the Report ask for the name and phone number of the person taking the Report, any case number and the address for mailing the written Report.  

CONSIDER:  Asking the person or persons making the allegations to join you when you call in the Report. If the reporting person is an adult, encourage him or her to also report the allegation directly.

DOCUMENT: After making the Report by telephone, complete wither a paper copy of the “Suspected Child Abuse Report” or file it electronically at https://mandreptla.org/on-lineRep.htm                                               

If you use the paper copy, mail it to the address you receive fro the person you called to make the Report. This must be done within 36 hours of your call. If the Hot Line or Police declines to take the Report over the phone, ask for the name and badge number of the person to whom you are speaking. Write this information, along with the note “declined to take the Report” and the date and time of the call, on the Report form. Keep a copy for your records and FAX a copy of the Report to the appropriate fax number.

OUTREACH:  Call the Child Abuse Hotline in your area for information on counseling and other outreach to the victims(s) and the reporting person(s).

CONCLUDE:  Offer reassurance, hope and continued support.

CHILD ABUSE FORM:    A copy of Form SS 8572 (revised 12/02)— Suspected Child Abuse Report” is available at      http://ag.ca.gov/childabuse/forms.php

DOCUMENT:  Mandate reporting is required where the victim is a current minor. If the victim is not a current minor, obtain all the information outlined above and contact local law enforcement to make a non-mandated report and to arrange for outreach.

Child Abuse: Frequently Asked Questions

 

  1. How can I help prevent child abuse? There are several things you can do about it. Learn more about child abuse and how it is treated. Don’t ignore child abuse, REPORT IT! Be supportive and helpful to families having problems. If you or your family need help coping with children, ask for it. Social service agencies are there to help you. To report child abuse or neglect in Los Angeles County, call the Child Abuse Hot Line at 1-800-540-4000 (California).
  2. What is child abuse? It is repeated mistreatment or neglect of a child by parent(s) or other guardian resulting in injury or harm. Under California Law, child abuse is a crime. Children need protection because they are vulnerable and often unable to speak for themselves. The California Child Abuse Reporting Law, along with other state laws, provides the legal basis for action to protect children and allow intervention by public agencies if a child is maltreated.

 

  1. What is the difference between discipline and abuse? Discipline is designed to help children control and change their behavior. Its purpose is to encourage moral, physical and intellectual development and a sense of responsibility in children. Ultimately, older children will do the right thing, not because they fear external reprisal, but because they have internalized a standard initially presented by parents and other caretakers, and children gain self-confidence and a positive self-image. Abuse is characterized by its orientation toward satisfying needs or expressing the negative feelings of parents or other caregivers. While it may result in positively changing the child’s behavior, often the improvement is temporary and followed by a later acting out of the hatred, revenge and hostility they have learned from their parents. To avoid further abuse, children may lie, run away or exhibit other forms of avoiding responsibility. Abuse tends to damage the self-esteem of both parents and the children. Safe, effective discipline is a correction given in love. In evaluating methods of guiding their children’s behavior, parents or guardians need to ask themselves: Is the discipline; * carefully related to the offense? * administered in the calmness of conviction rather than in the heat of anger? * fair, weighing heavily in consideration of the child occasional, and of brief duration? * free from physical violence (e.g., look of reproach, scolding or the taking away of a valued privilege)?

 

  1. What are the common signs of child abuse?

REPEATED INJURIES: Bruises, welts, burns. Parents may seem unconcerned, deny that anything is wrong, or give unlikely explanations for the injuries.

NEGLECTED APPEARANCE: Children often are badly nourished, inadequately clothed, are left alone or are wandering at all hours, always seem as if nobody cares. (Sometimes over-neatness may be a sign of abuse.)

DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR: Very aggressive, negative behavior constantly repeated can signal a desperate need for attention and help.

PASSIVE WITHDRAWN BEHAVIOR: When children are excessively shy and friendless, it may indicate that there are serious problems at home.

PARENTS WHO ARE “SUPER-CRITICAL”: Parents who discipline their children frequently and severely may begin to abuse them when their unrealistic standards are not met.

FAMILIES THAT ARE EXTREMELY ISOLATED: Parents who don’t share in school or community activities and resent friendly contacts may be distrustful of people, afraid of their help. Use caution and good sense in identifying child abuse. Every parents makes errors in judgment and action at some time but when it becomes plain that there is a pattern or it is becoming one, then it’s time for help. 

  1. What will happen to me if I make a report? (Verbally report ASAP: written within 36 hours) Anyone who reports known or suspected child abuse is protected by law from civil or criminal liability unless it can be proven that the report was false and that the person who made the report knew it was false. Any person, except a mandated reporter who reports child abuse may remain anonymous. Mandated reporters are required to give their names. However, it is helpful to give your name and telephone number to the worker taking the report in the event he or she needs to obtain more information later. 
  2. Why should I report child abuse? All children have the right to grow up in a safe environment. Child abuse, in all its forms, has a more lasting and negative effect on children, families and the whole community than most people realize. At its worst, its destructive impact haunts its victim throughout life and prevents the child from becoming a productive adult. Frequently, parents who were mistreated as children will mistreat their own children. The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect reports that more than 2,000 children die each year due to abuse or neglect. Reporting child abuse is a first step in stopping this devastating cycle. People who hurt children usually need help to change their behavior. Many, perhaps most, only get that help after someone else calls attention to the fact that they need it by reporting their abuse of a child.
  3. How do l know when to report child abuse? Reporting should be done when a person either knows or has a “reasonable suspicion” that a child has been or is in danger of abuse or neglect. “Reasonable suspicion” means that most people, given the same facts and information, would suspect child abuse. Hard proof is not needed to make a report. However, reports must be in good faith. Use common sense. A report of child abuse is serious and may have a lifelong impact on the child and his or her family. Never make a false or malicious report. __________________________________

 

*For more information: Dcfs.co.la.ca.us

Behaviors of Batterers That May Impact Visitation

Behaviors of Batterers That May Impact Visitation

If, after conducting an intake, the Provider accepts a referral for visitation in a domestic violence case, it is important to identify behaviors that may subsequently impact visitation. It is critical to keep in mind that the goal of providing supervised visitation services, including Provider exchanges, is to provide a safe, neutral setting for parent-child access. If this cannot be accomplished, the visitation provider or program must not accept the referral.

The following are behaviors sometimes used by batters that may affect a program’s ability to provide safe visitation:

  • Threats of violence toward the victim. This may include verbal abuse as well as attempted or actual physical assault
  • Threats of violence toward children. This may include verbal abuse, threats, attempted or actual physical abuse, kidnapping
  • Using visitation to send messages to the victim through the children
  • Stalking the victim and children upon arriving or departing from visitation program. This can be done in person or through a third party family member or friend
  • Intimidating children to reveal their current living arrangement, their custodial parent’s activities, their phone numbers
  • Testing or violating staff or volunteers
  • Intimidating visitation staff or volunteers
  • Pitting one staff member against another to encourage divisiveness
  • Requesting “special” privileges, such as unsupervised time with children
  • Denial or minimization of abusive behavior (“It’s all a misunderstanding.”)
  • Blaming other parent for necessity of having to use visitation services
  • Attempting to bring weapons (guns, knives, etc.) into program
  • Threats or attempts to commit suicide

Remember, safety belongs first to the visitation provider (monitor). If the provider is not safe, he or she cannot keep the child(ren) safe. When considering whether or not to accept a visitation referral, remember this quote, “All money is not safe money.” –Tamara L. Daniels

Understanding the Victim of Domestic Violence

Understanding the Victim of Domestic Violence

It is important for visit Providers to have an understanding of common victim characteristics and behaviors in order to be able to effectively facilitate visits:

  • Domestic violence victims can be found in all age ranges, in all racial/ethnic backgrounds, and in all socioeconomic, educational, occupational, and religious groups.
  • Some, but not all, of domestic violence victims have been abused as children or in previous adult relationships.
  • As part of their abuse experience, many victims have become isolated from friends, families, or their normal activities because of their perpetrator’s controlling behavior.
  • Victims of domestic violence experience traumatic effects from their experience including:
  • denial or minimization of the abuse;
  • hyper vigilance/suspiciousness;
  • anxiety;
  • difficulty concentrating;
  • shame;
  • substance abuse to self-medicate;
  • low self-esteem;
  • numbing or depression;
  • anger; and
  • impaired functioning in occupational, social, and parental roles.

These emotional reactions are normal, but they may result in a visit Provider mistakenly assuming it is the victim’s fault – instead of the perpetrator’s fault – that visitation is ordered. Understanding that these victim reactions are common will prevent visit Providers from inaccurately assigning psycho- pathological labels to the victim, such as “she’s crazy,” “she’s hysterical,” etc.

Victims of domestic violence engage in a variety of strategies to escape abuse:

  • Legal methods such as obtaining injunctions, requesting orders for supervised visitation/Provider exchanges, calling law enforcement, proceeding with prosecution of perpetrator, or seeking separation or divorce.
  • Formal requests for help from social service agencies, religious, domestic violence shelters, or other groups, including supervised visitation programs.
  • Escaping to a domestic violence shelter or relocating.
  • Using various methods of self-defense.

Because of the perpetrator’s undermining of the victim and the resulting decreased parenting capacity, some mothers who are in domestic violence relationships are at risk of harming or neglecting their children. Research suggests that by keeping abused mothers safe, children’s safety can be increased.

 

“WOW Facts” of Domestic Violence

 

  • In a national survey of more than 6,000 families in the United States, half of the men who frequently assaulted their wives also frequently abused their children.

 

  • Long-term exposure to battering can result in delinquency, higher rates of substance abuse, propensity to use or tolerate violence in future relationships, and a pessimistic view of the world.

 

  • Short-term effects of children’s exposure to domestic violence can include post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disturbances, separation anxiety, aggression, passivity, or desensitization to violent events.

 

  • Eighty-five percent of assaults on spouses or ex-spouses are committed by men against women with an estimated 3.3 million children exposed nationally to violence by family members against their mothers or caretakers each year.

 

  • At least 75% of children whose mothers are battered witness the violence.

 

  • In one study, forty-seven percent (47%) of homeless parents reported a history of domestic violence and one in four stated that a primary reason they sought shelter was domestic violence.

 

  • It is estimated that there are 1.35 million homeless children in the US; nearly half of these are under the age of 5.
  • Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
  • Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.
  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
  • Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.
  • Every day in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.

 

  • Ninety-two percent (92%) of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern.
  • Domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the US alone—the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs.
  • Based on reports from 10 countries, between 55 percent and 95 percent of women who had been physically abused by their partners had never contacted non-governmental organizations, shelters, or the police for help.
  • The costs of intimate partner violence in the US alone exceed $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion.
  • Men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives than sons of nonviolent parents.
  • 63% of all boys who commit murder kill the man who was abusing their mother.

 

Developed by Violence Against Women Online.

 

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